FLORENCE — The city’s drinking water meets or surpasses all federal and state standards, according to the Water Department’s annual report.
The 2020 Water Quality report, which recently was mailed to all customers, states no contaminant levels exceed Environmental Protection Agency limits.
“The good thing is there were no violations to report,” said Mike Doyle, general manager of the Florence Gas, Water and Wastewater Department.
He said the Safe Drinking Water Act requires sending customers an annual report, but the city takes it an additional step.
“We made every effort possible to make sure each customer is aware of the information, even if a customer was on a master meter like an apartment,” Doyle said. “We have about 4,000 more mailouts than water accounts.”
The information in the report can be complicated, but Doyle explained the first column lists the names of contaminants. The second column is the MCL, which stands for maximum contaminant level. That is the maximum amount of a particular contaminant that is allowed by EPA standards. The third column lists the amount of that contaminant that has been detected.
An “ND” in the third column means “not detected.”
If the figure in the third column is larger than the figure in the second column, that means the water has too much of that contaminant.
The figures reported by cities come from samples taken throughout 2019, and are based on the highest level detected during the year.
Doyle said if any level had surpassed the allowed amount, the department would have informed its customers long before the annual report is issued.
“We are really proud of our treatment plans,” he said. “We do optimized treatment, which means we treat our water to a higher level than what’s required as a minimum. We’ve participated in that program for years.”
Doyle said he sometimes is asked why the city goes to the expense of making the report into an elaborate pamphlet. He said he decided to do so after hearing recommendations from EPA officials.
“One thing they told us is try make it attractive so people will want to open it up and look at it instead of throwing it away as junk mail,” Doyle said.