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Local water quality had ‘a great year’

City releases report on contaminants for 2010

POSTED: May 22, 2011 10:51 p.m.

Gainesville residents can now read about the water that flowed into their homes in 2010.

The city's public utilities department released its annual Consumer Confidence Report on Water Quality, which outlines the contaminants detected in more than 2,500 water samples last year.

The department held up its track record of staying within the state's limits and not reporting any violations.

"We've had a great year as always, so we sort of use the report as a bulletin board to let our community know what we've got going on," said Horace Gee, the city's environmental services administrator. "We never have anything to report other than positive for our water quality, so we let people know about our outreach activities to keep the waterways safe and clean."

State law dictates public utilities must send out annual reports, which are now being mailed to about 43,000 utility customers throughout Hall County.

Residents who use paperless billing will receive an electronic version of the report, which can be found on Gainesville's website.

Copies of the report are also available at the department's customer service office and director's office on Queen City Parkway, as well as the city's planning department and city manager's office downtown. Copies will soon be available in Spanish.

"One of the main things people look for in the report is the bacteria results," Gee said.

Under state law, no more than 5 percent of monthly samples can test positive for coliform bacteria.

Gainesville's highest monthly positives came in at 1.8 percent, and the source was naturally present in the environment.

"We do more than 100 water quality analyses every month, and we do this at various approved sites throughout the entire county to give a good scope of water quality for our customers," Gee said. "A lot can come into play when you do those tests, and our technicians in the field do a good job and get a good representative sample."

The report also includes information about where the city's drinking water comes from and what it means to have different levels of contaminants. The presence of these contaminants in the water does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk, Gee noted.

"I encourage our customers, as they get their utility bills, to look at this because we've got some workshop announcements and good contact information if they need further details about water quality," he said. "Our doors are always open."

 



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