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Utility: Decatur's drinking water is clean and safe

Environmentalists claim Decatur's drinking water could cause health problems

Posted: Jan 27, 2018 3:19 PM

Decatur utilities defending the quality of its drinking water.

That defense comes after an environmental activist group called for people in Decator to drink only bottled water. Warriors for Clean Water claims Decatur's water is contaminated with heavy metals and can cause kidney failure.

Decatur Utilities calls the claims unwarranted and unsubstantiated. It points out the multi-stage treatment, high-level of testing and independent monitoring Decatur's water goes through.

Also, Decatur Utilities has received industry recognition for its water operations.

Here’s what Decatur Utilities wrote in a letter it sent to WAAY 31:

“Decatur Utilities assures customers that its drinking water is safe Decatur Utilities monitored a press conference held today by Ron Mixon of Warriors for Clean Water and Dr. John Rose, DO (Doctor of Osteopathy). A variety of allegations were made during the conference about water quality in North Alabama, specifically areas of Morgan and Lawrence County. The Decatur Utilities service area was lumped into a region referenced in a study alleging a link between levels of heavy metals in local drinking water and instances of kidney failure. The call by Dr. Rose for Decatur residents served by Decatur Utilities to use only bottled water was unwarranted and unsubstantiated. Decatur Utilities provides its customers with safe, clean drinking water that exceeds state and federal quality standards. Contrary to the claim made by Mr. Mixon, DU’s water treatment process is multi-staged and includes screening, chemical addition, settling, filtration, and disinfection. Decatur Utilities performs more than one million tests in-house and at third-party independent laboratories each year to monitor the level of contaminants in the drinking water provided. That report has consistently shown non-detectable levels of heavy metals such as lead, chromium and mercury. Levels of other contaminants are well below the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM). A Water Quality Report is mailed to every DU water customer each year detailing the MCL and test result for each contaminate. This report is provided to our wholesale water customers as well. In August, Decatur Utilities received notification from the EPA that its Water Treatment Plant (WTP) had surpassed state and federal regulatory treatment standards for water quality for the fourth straight year (2013-2016). To achieve this level of excellence, DU’s WTP exceeded the stringent goals set by ADEM for the treatment of turbidity, or the cloudiness caused by microscopic suspended solid particles in the water. In addition, our water treatment plant has been recognized by the Alabama Water Pollution Control Association for the past three years as the Best Operated Plant in Alabama (Distribution Systems 25,001 – 50,000 meters). Mr. Mixon also referenced PFCs in his remarks. Decatur Utilities once again wants to assure its water customers that all recent tests of its drinking water show no detectable levels of PFC’s and Decatur’s water supply is fully in compliance with all EPA and ADEM regulations. “

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