Utility System Update
A brief message from Temple’s Utility Director, Damon Boniface, providing an update to our community on many water and wastewater activities as summer time approaches. Yes, the Texas heat is almost here!
Water conservation plays an important role in the protection of the City’s most precious natural resource.
Let’s be “water smart” this summer, and remember to use water wisely, turning off faucets and reporting water leaks to (254) 298-5611 when they are observed.
With water demands across town expected to increase with rising temperatures, our water system will be operating at peak conditions with plants, pumps, pipes, and people on the ready. Let’s all do our part to remain vigilant this summertime season.
Learn more about the process of water getting to your tap.
City of Temple Public Works – Utility Director, Damon Boniface seeks to update citizens on the condition of their water system regarding latest improvements to Total Trihalomethane (TTHM) levels in the public drinking water supply. As previously notified, results of the City’s fourth quarter 2016 sampling event showed levels exceeding the U.S. EPA established level at all eight sample sites with a locational running annual average (LRAA) above 80 micrograms per liter (ug/l). The TCEQ recently collected samples for first quarter 2017 compliance from all eight sample sites. Results show significant improvement as three of the eight sample sites have regained regulatory compliance. Further, latest results from all eight sites ranged from 37 to 46 ug/l, compared to 66 to 88 ug/l for quarter four 2016. In perspective, 1 ug/l is equivalent to one hundredth (0.001) of a penny per million dollars.
The City of Temple is dedicated to providing safe drinking water to the community. Recent changes to the treatment process show significant reduction in TTHM concentration levels, with expected full compliance soon. System water has always been safe to drink and use, as there is no need to boil or purchase water. Further updates will be provided as information becomes available.
What is trihalomethanes?
Trihalomethanes (chloroform, bromoform, bromodichloromethane, and chlorodibromomethane) are commonly found in drinking water that has been chlorinated or chloraminated. Trihalomethanes (THMs) form when chlorine reacts with organic matter in the water. THMs are found mainly in water that originally came from surface sources, such as rivers and lakes. THM levels are typically low in groundwater (produced by wells). THMs have been associated with increased cancer risk, at least in animals, and the EPA has for many years regulated the amount of THMs allowable in drinking water.
Why is drinking water chlorinated?
Chlorination is necessary for two reasons. First, almost all sources of surface water contain microbiological organisms, which have to be removed in order to prevent the outbreak of waterborne diseases such as typhoid fever and cholera. Second, once the treated water leaves the treatment plant, it may travel through water mains and pipes sometimes at significant distances, before it reaches it's destination. During this time, it is necessary to maintain a residual level of disinfectant in the water to ensure no possible regrowth of microorganisms. Without adequate disinfection, the health risks from microorganisms far outweigh the risks from THMs.
What is being done to reduce the levels of THMs in municipal drinking water in Temple?
Based on recent consultation with the TCEQ, staff will be looking to adjust the current TCEQ approved disinfection protocol, and capital improvements.
What are the alternate disinfectants?
Alternate disinfectants include chloramine, chlorine dioxide and ozone. Each of these alternate disinfectants have their own advantages and disadvantages regarding handling and storage, disinfection by-product formation and cost.
Which public water supplies have the highest/lowest levels of THMs?
Levels of THMs are generally highest in treated water from sources with high organic matter content, such as rivers and lakes. Lower levels of THMs are usually found when the source water is groundwater.
THM levels can vary within single water supply depending on the season, water temperatures, amount of natural organic matter in water, pH, amount of chlorine added, point of chlorination, time in distribution system, and other factors such as treatment processes used.
What are chlorination disinfection by-products and how are they formed?
Chlorination disinfection by-products (CDBPs) are chemical compounds that form when water containing natural organic matter (the decay products of living things such as leaves, human and animal wastes, etc.) is chlorinated. Chlorine disinfection of water can lead to the formation of a number of chlorination by-products of which trihalomethanes (THMs) are only one subgroup. Among the many chlorination by-products, THMs are most often present and in the greatest concentration in drinking water and as such are used as indicators of total disinfection by-product formation.
How can I obtain information about my drinking water quality?The latest water quality report (Consumer Confidence Report) can be found here. You can contact (254) 298-5940 for more information.
Are THMs monitored in Temple water supplies?
A. Water systems that rely on surface water sources, or groundwater sources that can be affected by surface water, test for THMs regularly. Most surface water systems have to measure THMs four times a year, every two years. Larger surface water systems measure THMs four times a year, every year. Samples must be taken four times a year because water quality changes over the year - THMs are usually higher in the summer and lower in the winter. The average THM value for the year must be below the provincial standard.