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Valdosta water customers will receive a letter along with their October 2014 utilities bill explaining a violation of a drinking water standard that occurred in July 2014.
“Although this incident was not an emergency and poses no threat to water customers, citizens have a right to know what happened and what we did to correct the situation,” said Utilities Director Henry Hicks. “In order to ensure that all of our customers receive this information, we have included a letter within the utilities bill and have posted pertinent information to our city website.”
Valdosta’s drinking water is among the best in the state—winning the Georgia 2013 Treatment Plant of the Year in its category—and strives to maintain that standard of excellence throughout the year. However, the city experienced a rare challenge in July 2014, when a scheduled water sample of the Valdosta water distribution system showed a maximum contaminant level violation for coliform bacteria.
Coliform bacteria are indicator bacteria used to determine if there could be a potential problem in the water distribution system. When coliform bacteria are detected, the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) is contacted within 24-hours and additional tests are immediately scheduled and performed to determine if any more dangerous bacteria are present in those same samples. In July, the city exceeded the three positive samples allowed per regulation. Repeat samples were tested, as required, until there were no positives for coliform bacteria. No harmful elements were detected in any of the samples collected in July.
The city has a total of 180 sample locations approved by EPD—45 sample locations in each quadrant of the city. The city samples at least 15 sites in each quadrant every month and samples every location throughout the city at least four times each year to ensure quality drinking water for its citizens.
Valdosta uses the latest available technology to provide safe, quality water for its customers. The city is also in the process of acquiring a necessary easement to begin construction of a re-chlorination station in the southern most areas of the city’s water system, in an area known to have low chlorine levels. Construction of this facility should begin in December 2014 and will allow the city to monitor and ensure that the desired chlorinelevels have been achieved in that area to prevent future violations.
The city respects the concerns of citizens regarding this issue and seeks to assure all water customers of the continued quality of the drinking water provided to them. Additional information pertaining to this incident and about the city’s water treatment process in general can be found atwww.valdostacity.com.
Citizens may also contact the Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Jason Barnes at (229) 333-1832.