WEAR TV3 reported on Thursday, September 22nd that Chromium-6, “The Erin Brockovich” chemical, had been found in local water supplies in Northwest Florida. This report was based on sample results from 2013-2014 which tested for a list of potential contaminants in drinking water which are not currently regulated. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) utilizes what is known as Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) to collect data for contaminants that are suspected to be present in drinking water and do not have health-based standards set under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
Destin Water Users did participate in the UCMR water testing which included samples taken from all of our drinking water wells and locations throughout our distribution system. DWU feels it is important to inform our customers that all of our results were absent of the Chromium-6 chemical, and there is no reason for our customers to be alarmed by the recent news report.
In other news, ABC reported on Tuesday, September 20th that “Scores of residents in Polk County, Florida have requested water quality testing after a fertilizer plant admitted a sinkhole on its property leached 215 million gallons of “slightly radioactive” water into the local Florida aquifer”.
Polk County is located east of Tampa and this was a localized event which the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) has been closely monitoring. The results of their sampling has indicated that affected water is being successfully contained, and that there is no evidence of offsite movement or threat to our drinking water source here in Destin.
Is DWU monitoring for lead in our drinking water?
In 1991, EPA published a regulation to control lead and copper in drinking water. This regulation is known as the Lead and Copper Rule (also referred to as the LCR). The rule requires systems to monitor drinking water at customer taps. Additionally, our water wells are routinely monitored and must remain in compliance with the action level established by the EPA of 15 parts per billion (ppb). If lead concentrations exceed the action level at any well or in more than 10% of customer taps sampled, the system must undertake a number of additional actions to control corrosion. The results of our sampling can be found in our Water Quality Report at http://dwuinc.com/advisory-notices/dwu-water-quality-report/ – hard copies are distributed no later than July of each year and can also be obtained at our main office location.
Background on Flint
Recently, the situation in Flint Michigan has been dominating national headlines focusing on excessive levels of lead discovered in their drinking water. On January 16th, President Barack Obama declared a State of Emergency in Michigan to help with Flint’s ongoing water troubles. As part of the federal response, the EPA has established the Flint Safe Drinking Water Task Force and a website http://www.epa.gov/flint to assist in the crisis, work with local authorities, and inform the public. While the media has much to say on this subject, it can become difficult to separate fact from fiction. It is important to DWU that we keep our customers informed on how this crisis pertains to our community and make you aware of what we are doing to continue to provide safe drinking water to our customers.
The crisis in Flint was caused by two fundamental conditions- (1) change in drinking water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River, and (2) lack of proper corrosion control methods after switching to the new source. When a drinking water source is determined to be corrosive, the EPA requires water systems to apply corrosion control treatment to stabilize the water before it is distributed to customers. If not controlled, the corrosive water may cause lead used in older system plumbing to be released and introduced into the drinking water.
Does this Situation Apply to Destin?
Drinking Water Source
In Destin and most of the surrounding area, our sole drinking water source is groundwater from the Upper Floridan Aquifer- a deep underground limestone aquifer protected from surface water influences by a confining layer. Destin Water Users customers can rest assured that any lead detected in our system is naturally-occurring, and can be found in the soil. Due to the nature of our water source- it is sparsely found. During our last round of routine sampling, it was only detected in three of our six wells in very low levels ranging from 1.8ppb to 7.5ppb which is less than half of the allowable limit.
Corrosion Control Methods
No corrosion control treatment is required for our source water because it is not corrosive. The only treatment required for drinking water in Destin is a small dose of chlorine for disinfecting purposes as it travels through the water system to your tap.
DWU was established in 1963, after the time when lead was commonly used to seal joints in water distribution lines. Lead was not used in the construction of our water distribution mains and service connections.
Lead pipes and lead solder were commonly used in home construction until 1986. DWU has identified all homes built within our service area prior to that time and residential sampling is routinely performed at sites randomly selected from those locations and approved by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). Should sampling indicate an exceedance at a customer’s home, DWU is required by law to provide notice to the affected resident.
DWU is monitoring our water supply for lead as required by state and federal regulations. We report our findings annually in our Water Quality Report and we are proud to report that lead in the water supply is not a threat to public health for the members of DWU.
For more information on reducing lead exposure around your home and the health effects of lead, visit EPA’s Web site at www.epa.gov/lead , call the National Lead Information Center at 800-424-LEAD, or contact your health care provider.
To view the new Reclaimed Water Irrigation Schedule please click HERE
FOG (Fats, Oils, & Grease) is one of the primary causes of stoppages, backups, upsets and overflows in a wastewater system. To view on information click this link.
It has been brought to our attention that there is a scam going around in reference to messages being left that the customer’s water will be turned off for non-payment and the customer needs to call a number and enter a code to make a payment. DWU does make courtesy call outs prior to disconnect day, this call out references our office number where you will speak with DWU Customer Service Rep and you can pay your bill over the phone. You may also pay your bill online through our website and you will need your Web I.D. number that is located on your bill. If you have any further questions please call our office at 850-837-6146.
Effective January 2017, Destin Water Users Administrative Fees and Service Charges will be increased. Please take a moment to review these changes on our website under the Rates tab. If you should have any questions, please contact one of our customer service representatives.
2017 BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION
Destin Water Users, Inc. is a member owned not for profit cooperative utility. The business of the corporation is to construct, maintain and operate a water and wastewater system for its members. The business affairs of the corporation are overseen by a nine-member Board of Directors elected from the membership of the corporation. The Directors are elected to staggered three year terms. The Board members meet monthly to conduct their regular business and they also meet in special session from time to time to conduct business of the various subcommittees of the Board. The Directors receive no compensation for their services.
Elections for the Board of Directors are held annually by secret mail-in ballot. Secret ballots will be mailed out around the end of January and the election results will be announced at the annual meeting.