Municipal water reports now available
Local water systems offered detailed reports on local drinking water quality
By Jessica Blomquist
When you turn on the faucet and fill a glass with water, chances are you don’t think about what is in that water.
But for water treatment plant workers in Morgan County, it’s their job to monitor what is found in your drinking water. Drinking water is strictly regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The state division of the EPA, the Environmental Protection Division, sets limits for the maximum amount of certain contaminants permitted in water provided by public water systems.
The water plants in Madison, Bostwick, Rutledge and Buckhead were all required by the EPD to include a consumer confidence report, also known as a water quality report, for the year 2007 in each customer’s July 1 water bill. The EPD has required these reports since 1999. The town of Buckhead and Rutledge both receive some of their water from the city of Madison.
A copy of Madison’s water quality report was enclosed in bills for water consumers in addition to Buckhead’s water quality report.
Each water quality report lists the type and quantity of contaminants that were found in the water. If a contaminant was not found in the water, it was not included on the list. For example, the Madison plant did not find any traces of asbestos, E. coli, or Giardia in their water.
Untreated water, such as that found in lakes and rivers, is the source of all drinking water, including bottled water. Bacteria, viruses, pesticides, metals, chemicals, and waste materials can contaminate this raw water.
These contaminants can come from sewage treatment plants, agricultural and livestock operations, septic systems, industrial waste water, and from other sources.
Treated water still contains some contaminants, though treatment keeps the quantity of these contaminants under a safe level as specified by EPD regulations.
Last year, the City of Madison treated 509 gallons of water and performed more than 240,000 laboratory tests for contaminants.
Madison, Bostwick, Rutledge and Buckhead all have quality drinking water for the year 2007. Buckhead had three violations during 2007, in the months of June, October, and November, but each violation was monitored by the EPD and corrected by the water treatment plant.
J. Everette Jenkins, utility plants supervisor of the Madison Water Treatment Plant said the goal of treatment plants is “to give everybody water of sufficient quality and quantity by meeting or exceeding the EPD requirements.” Residents of Buckhead who wish to learn more about their water system can attend the monthly city council meeting on the third Monday of each month a speak with water superintendent Tim Saye.
Inhabitants of Rutledge can attend their city council meetings, which meet on the third Monday of the month.
Questions or concerns can also be directed to Rutledge City Hall at (706) 557-2223.
Additional copies of Madison’s water quality report can be found at City Hall and citizens of the city are encouraged to call the city’s Water Treatment Department at (706) 343-1251 or attend city council meetings. Bostwick residents can express concerns or ask questions at the city council’s regular meeting, held the first Monday of every month at 7 p.m. at Bostwick City Hall.