04/24/11 — City report keeps tabs on water

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City report keeps tabs on water

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on April 24, 2011 1:50 AM

When the city sends its drinking water report to its water customers each year along with their monthly bill, it's often just tossed aside as trash.

With more than half a dozen tables and words like "turbidity" and "trihalo-methanes" peppered throughout, it's hardly light reading for most customers without chemistry degrees, but Public Utilities Director Karen Brashear says customers should examine the document to find the bottom line of what it all means.

And it just so happens that that bottom line is on the second line of the document.

"The thing they need to look for is did the city meet the requirements of the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations," she said. "And the answer is yes."

The document, which was once called the Consumer Confidence Report, is mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency to be mailed out to customers to inform them on how safe their drinking water is.

"It's also a good idea to let our citizens know that we routinely test our drinking water," she said, adding that some tests run continuously, while others are performed every four years to maintain the water's safety.

With zero violations in the fields tested, Goldsboro's water was found to be in compliance with Safe Water Drinking Act requirements, meaning the city and consumers can be confident that their water is safe.

The levels of different contaminants weren't found to exceed the maximum contaminant level, and since a person would have to drink two liters of water at the maximum contaminant level every day for a lifetime to have a one-in-a-million chance of having the described health effect, there's truly no need to worry about the water your drinking.

But, Mrs. Brashear said, there is cause to worry about the water you will be drinking next year. She said her office takes the opportunity to include tips and suggestions for customers to help protect Goldsboro's safe drinking water supply, including disposing of grease through trash pickup and avoiding the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides.

"Every citizen can help us there," she said. "We just want people to be thinking about how they can help protect their water."

Run-off into rivers and storm drains can contaminate water and already lands the area's drinking supply with a higher susceptibility to have contaminants, according to the state's Source Water Assessment Program. Farmland upstream of the Neuse and Little rivers is likely the cause of the higher ranking, Mrs. Brashear said.