The city of Delaware recently issued its annual water quality report, and had no violations in 2015.
“Once again, the city is able to report our drinking water meets and exceeds all the state and federal standards, and that’s something we continuously strive to accomplish through our treatment and collection processes,” said Lee Yoakum, community affairs coordinator.
There were minimal amounts of the following substances in the water: Atrazine, barium, haloacetic acids, nitrate, simazine, trihalomethanes, coliform bacteria, organic carbon and copper. In addition, the turbidity (cloudiness) of the water was also within the normal range. Finally, there were only two of 60 sample sites where enough lead was detected in the tap water that required action.
“Rest assured that we routinely monitor our water to make sure that what happened in Flint, Michigan, never happens here,” the report said.
In all cases, the trace amounts did not involve U.S. Environmental Protection Agency violations.
“As regulations and drinking water standards change, it is the city’s commitment to our residents to incorporate these changes system-wide and in an expeditious and cost-effective manner,” Brad Stanton, city public utilities director, said in the report.
Yoakum said it was too early to tell if recent upgrades made at the city’s water plant led to better test results, but it has already made an impact by eliminating outdated technology.
“When it comes to water hardness, we can regulate that in a different way (through membrane filtration) than before (applying chemicals like lime), and not spend as much,” he said. There is a trade-off, though: “Because it’s more of a pressurized process, we have seen an uptick in electrical usage.”
The city gets its water from two sources — surface water from the Olentangy River, and ground water wells at the plant and on Penry Road. The spring rains have raised the river levels.
“Right now is a good time for us to pull water from the river,” Yoakum said. “When that becomes an issue is later this month and into June, when the farmers are more active. We’ll be watching for nitrates and atrazine (runoff). The new improvements at the plant allow us to switch from one source to another more easily.”
The water plant off U.S. 23 treated and provided more than 1.19 billion gallons of water to the city in 2015, an average of 3.26 million gallons per day. The new technology allows the city to monitor for potential problems in real time, Yoakum said.
If you have questions about the report or the city’s water, call the department of public utilities office at 740-203-1900.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.