Oneida Water Department releases quality report

Oneida Water Department's 2015 water quality report (CCR):

Is my drinking water safe?
Yes, our water meets all of EPA’s health standards. We have conducted numerous tests for over 80 contaminants that may be in drinking water. As you’ll see in the chart on the back, we only detected 9 of these contaminants. We found all of these contaminants at safe levels.

What is the source of my water?
Your water, which is treated surface water, comes from the City of Oneida. Our goal is to protect our water from contaminants and we are working with the State to determine the vulnerability of our water source to potential contamination. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has prepared a Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP) Report for the untreated water sources serving this water system. The SWAP Report assesses the susceptibility of untreated water sources to potential contamination. To ensure safe drinking water, all public water systems treat and routinely test their water. Water sources have been rated as reasonably susceptible, moderately susceptible or slightly susceptible based on geologic factors and human activities in the vicinity of the water source. The City of Oneida sources rated as reasonably susceptible to potential contamination.

An explanation of Tennessee’s Source Water Assessment Program, the Source Water Assessment summaries, susceptibility scorings and the overall TDEC report to EPA can be viewed online at https://www.tn.gov/environment/article/wr-wq-source-water-assessment or you may contact the Water System to obtain copies of specific assessments.

Why are there contaminants in my water?
Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

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For more information about your drinking water, please call Michael Keeton at 569-4008.

How can I get involved?
Our Water Board meets on the third Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in courtroom located at City Hall, 19922 Alberta St. Please feel free to participate in these meetings.

Is our water system meeting other rules that govern our operations?
The State and EPA require us to test and report on our water on a regular basis to ensure its safety. We have met all of these requirements. Results of unregulated contaminant analysis are available upon request. We want you to know that we pay attention to all the rules.

Other Information
The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally-occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.

Contaminants that may be present in source water:

· Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.

· Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or result from urban stormwater runoff, industrial, or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.

· Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and residential uses.

· Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems.

· Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally-occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation prescribe regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. FDA regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health. The Oneida Water System’s water treatment processes are designed to reduce any such substances to levels well below any health concern.

Do I Need To Take Special Precautions?
Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have under-gone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about not only their drinking water, but food preparation, personal hygiene, and precautions in handling infants and pets from their health care providers. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbiological contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

Lead in Drinking Water
If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. The Oneida Water System is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at http://www.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family%23water%23water

Water System Security
Following the events of September 2001, we realize that our customers are concerned about the security of their drinking water. We urge the public to report any suspicious activities at any utility facilities, including treatment plants, pumping stations, tanks, fire hydrants, etc. to 569-4008.

Pharmaceuticals In Drinking Water
Flushing unused or expired medicines can be harmful to your drinking water. Learn more about disposing of unused medicines at www.tn.gov/environment/sustainable-practices_unwanted-prescriptions.shtml

MORE: Full report, including Water Quality Data chart. (PDF)