06/16/04 — City water quality meets requirements

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City water quality meets requirements

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on June 16, 2004 2:00 PM

Keep drinking.

That's the underlying message in Goldsboro's annual water report, issued recently in the monthly water bills.

Goldsboro's drinking water met, or exceeded, all water quality tests in the past year as required by law.

The city's primary water source is the Neuse River, and its alternate water supply is the Little River.

Though the average person might find the report difficult to interpret, Public Utilities Director Karen Brashear said the city tries to make it as "user friendly" as possible.

"There's just a certain amount of scientific nomenclature that you have to put in there, and people have a hard time deciphering lab data," she said.

The city tests the water for a variety of things, including copper, chloroform, lead, iron and sodium. It also tests for bacteria.

"We do testing every month for bacteria," Ms. Brashear said. "We have different sampling points all over the city, and we rotate those sites, so we're not testing the same location."

It's just another way, she said, for the city to verify its water quality.

Monitoring the water regularly ensures that there are no pollutants or contaminants present.

"Anything that's not H2O you could look at as a contaminant, but you want some things, like certain minerals in the water," she said. "Even though it's not H2O, it's a good thing."

There are other things that you don't want, she said, like heavy metals. Testing of the city's water showed no heavy metal.

Four years ago, Goldsboro changed its drinking-water disinfecting practice from the use of "free chlorine" to the use of "chloramine."

The change was made because chlorine can react with certain organic substances, such as algae in the river that supplies the city's water, to form trihalomethanes. If consumed at high levels for 70 years, trihalomethanes may cause cancer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.