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Water Quality Report

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Water Quality Reports

If you have ever wondered where your water comes from or what is in your drinking water, you will find the answer to these and more questions in the annual Drinking Water Quality Report (also known as the Consumer Confidence Report). Public water suppliers must provide these reports to their water customers each year by July 1, as required by the 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

College Station maintains water quality in the distribution system through continuous monitoring of water pressure, temperature, disinfectant residual, and turbidity. Environmental Technicians collect over 100 water samples month after month throughout College Station for analysis by the Brazos County Health Department. Health Department technicians test the samples for Total Coliform bacteria, which are usually indicators of microbial contamination of drinking water because they are often found in association with other disease-causing organisms (though hardier than most pathogens).

Information about drinking water sources and source water assessments

Drinking water sources (tap and bottled) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and groundwater wells. As water travels over the land surface or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material. In addition, it can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or human activity.

College Station relies entirely on groundwater for its drinking water supply, pumping from 10 deep wells in the Simsboro Aquifer and one in the Carrizo and Sparta Aquifers in northwest Brazos County. Source water protection is essential in making and keeping safe drinking water. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality completed an assessment of your source water, describing the susceptibility and types of constituents that may infiltrate your drinking water source based on human activities and natural conditions. Results indicate that some of our sources are susceptible to specific contaminants. The sampling requirements for your water system are based on that susceptibility and previous sample data. The Consumer Confidence Report includes any detection of these contaminants. For more details on source water assessments and protection efforts, contact Jennifer Nations at [email protected] or call 979.764.6223.

Refer to the Source Water Assessment Viewer for more about our water sources. Additional details about sources and source-water assessments are available at Drinking Water Watch.

Where does our water come from?

The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and groundwater wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally-occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.

College Station relies entirely on groundwater for its drinking water supply, pumping water from 10 deep wells in the Simsboro Aquifer, and one well in each in the Carrizo and Sparta Aquifers, located in northwest Brazos County. Source water protection is an important in making and keeping water safe to drink. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has completed an assessment of your source water, which describes the susceptibility and types of constituents that may come into contact with your drinking water source based on human activities and natural conditions. Results indicate that some of our sources are susceptible to certain contaminants. The sampling requirements for your water system are based on this susceptibility and previous sample data. Any detection of these contaminants may be found in this Consumer Confidence Report. For more information on source water assessments and protection efforts at our system, contact Jennifer Nations at [email protected] or call 979-764-6223.

Illustration of Wilcox Aquifer

Contaminants that may be present in source water include:

Microbial Contaminants Icon Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.
Inorganic Contaminants Icon Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.
Pesticides and Herbicides Icon Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses.
Organic Chemical Contaminants Icon Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff, and septic systems.
Radioactive Contaminants Icon Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally-occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. However, such contaminants do not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. Call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800.426.4791 for more about contaminants and potential health effects.

In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. FDA regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health.

Contaminants may be found in drinking water that may cause taste, color, or odor problems. These types of problems are not necessarily causes for health concerns. For more information on taste, odor, or color of your drinking water, call 979.764.3660.

Special Notice for Elderly, Infants, and Immuno-Compromised People:

You may be more vulnerable than the general population to certain microbial contaminants, such as Cryptosporidium, in drinking water. Infants, some elderly, or immunocompromised persons such as those undergoing chemotherapy for cancer; persons who have undergone organ transplants; those who are undergoing treatment with steroids; and people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, can be particularly at risk from infections. You should seek advice about drinking water from your physician or health care providers. Additional guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800.426.4791.

Kid drinking a glass of water

About Fluoride...

In January 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed lowering the recommended level of fluoride in drinking water to 0.7 mg/L. College Station's drinking water comes from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer and, as noted in the drinking water quality reports linked above, contains approximately 0.4 mg/L fluoride already. Following this change by HHS, in September of 2011 the City of College Station discontinued adding fluoride to the drinking water. A detailed explanation of this decision to discontinue fluoridation can be found in this blog post from September 2011. More information about drinking water fluoridation, including its risks and benefits, can be found at DrinkTap.org
 

About Chlorine...

College Station Utilities also maintains a chlorine disinfectant residual of at least 0.2 milligrams per liter (mg/L) throughout the water distribution system to prevent against bacteriological contamination after the water leaves the Dowling Road Pump Station. Having a disinfectant residual is required to prevent the spread of waterborne disease.


About Lead...

Elevated lead levels can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing.

The City of College Station is responsible for providing high-quality drinking water but cannot control the various materials used in plumbing components. If your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing the tap for 30 seconds to two minutes before using it for drinking or cooking.

If you are concerned about lead and want your water tested, call 979.764.3660. Information on lead, testing methods, and steps to minimize exposure is available by calling the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800.426.4791 or visiting the EPA website.

Current Water Quality Report

Download Report

Additional Resources

These reports are full of some complex language and long words. (Trihalomethanes?! Cryptosporidium?!) To help you understand the terms in your drinking water quality report, here are some helpful links from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the American Water Works Association (AWWA), and NSF International: 

Archived Water Quality Reports

Water Quality Reports from previous years are available by calling CSU at 979.764.3660 or emailing [email protected]

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