Archive for Thursday, July 20, 2000

Crystal clear results

Reports show city’s drinking water rated among best in state

July 20, 2000

Eudora residents can raise a glass to the workers at the city's water treatment plant.

The state's analysis of the city's water supply is in and the results are good. The levels of contaminants in Eudora's water supply were well below the maximum allowed by the state.

According to officials at the Environmental Protection Agency, as water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it picks up naturally occurring minerals and radioactive material. It can also pick up substances left by animals or humans.

Among the contaminants found in Eudora's water supply were barium, chromium, copper and lead. Barium was detected at a level of .431 parts per million (ppm), well below the maximum accepted level by the state of 2 ppm. The chromium level of 1.6 parts per billion (ppb) was also under the state's maximum allowance of 100 ppb.

The state allows a copper level of 1,300 ppb. Eudora had a copper level of 40.9 ppb. Lead was detected in Eudora's water at a level of 1.5 ppb, compared to the maximum acceptable level of 15 ppb.

Jon Showalter, foreman of the city's water and wastewater plant, said the test results were no surprise to him. He monitors the water on a weekly basis to ensure that it's safe for residents.

"We check for bacteria, to make the sure the water is disinfected and won't cause any type of diseases," Showalter said.

Water plant employees also keep a close eye on the clarity of the water and monitor it regularly for taste, he explained.

"Any place you go the water's going to taste different. If you get a smell it's usually a bleach one from the chlorine. We just try to keep it from smelling offensive in any way and that's not always easy," he said. "A lot of work goes into it. People take it for granted. They just turn on the faucet and it's there."

Cloudy or milky water is created by tiny air bubbles. According to state officials, they are not a health concern and will disappear after the water has settled.

State officials point out, however, that no water is contaminant free.

"Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants," the state report read.

Even at the state's maximum level of contamination allowed, the water would not pose any significant health risks.

According to the report, "a person would have to drink two liters of water every day at the maximum drinking water standard for a lifetime to have a one-in-a-million chance of having a health effect."

Surrounding communities also received favorable test results.

The state identified many of the same contaminants in the DeSoto water supply as it did in Eudora water. Because the two cities used different level scales, a direct comparison of the two is difficult.

All of the contaminants identified in DeSoto's water did come in under the maximum level allowed by the state.

DeSoto gets its water from an aquifer in the Kansas River.

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