October 2016: 3rd Quarter 2016 Notice.
To: Utilities Commission, City of New Smyrna Beach Water System Customers
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DRINKING WATER
The Utilities Commission, City of New Smyrna Beach, Florida’s water system exceeded drinking water standards or Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL) for Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM) at our Pompano Road sampling location on the south beachside for the quarterly monitoring period ending September 30th, 2016.
MCL: The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close as feasible to the goals established for water quality, using the best available treatment technology.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
As stated in the initial required notice, this is not an emergency. If it had been, you would have been notified immediately.
TTHM and HAA5 are two common disinfection byproducts (DBPs) which develop during the use of chlorine in potable water treatment and distribution systems. As a public water utility provider, we are required to notify residents and customers of any exceedance of standards. Through this required process, the Utilities Commission also would like to confirm and assure our customers that our most current detection of July 2016 was not unusually high like the sample collected in the 4th quarter of 2015.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
No corrective actions nor boiling of water are needed. This is a required notice only.
The EPA has established these public notification rules and tiers under which specific violations are assigned to parameter exceedances. This specific site sampling exceedance is considered a Tier 2 violation of the drinking water regulations, which are considered less urgent than Tier 1 violations because there is no immediate risk to consumers. A public notification is required to be delivered to customers and published after such a violation is discovered.
The Water Treatment Division of our Water Resources Department monitors drinking water for specific parameters on a regular basis. The TTHM and HAA5 MCL’s are based on a locational running annual averages (LRAA) determined by averaging four quarterly sample results from a given sampling location over the past 12 months. The TTHM MCL is 80 ppb (parts per billion), and the HAA5 MCL is 60 ppb based on this LRAA. During the 3rd Quarter 2016, the individual test results located on Pompano Road (south end of Bethune Beach) were 49 ppb (parts per billion) for TTHM and 17 ppb for HAA5 and were well within normal range. However, since the LRAA is an average of the past four quarters of test results, the LRAA for the 3rd Quarter 2016 was 101 ppb for TTHM which resulted in a violation of our MCL. The water remained safe to drink and use for cooking, bathing and cleaning. Chlorination is required to disinfect drinking water and provides a safeguard of the bacterial water quality from the Water Production Plant throughout the many miles of our water distribution piping system. These byproducts form when chlorine reacts with naturally occurring organic material in the water. Three other required sampling sites were also tested at this time and results from those three were all within acceptable limits.
Some people who drink water containing trihalomethanes (THMs) in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys or central nervous system and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.
WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW?
The results from the sampling of our water system in July 2016 were once again well below the 60 HAA5 and 80 THM (ppb) MCL concentrations - including the Pompano Rd. site. The site on Pompano Road had reported concentrations of 17 ppb HAA5 and 49 ppb TTHM.
These recent results are in the range we have seen and reassure us that the 4th quarter-2015 test results, which were higher than usual, have not persisted and are no longer present in the water.
WHAT CORRECTIVE ACTION IS BEING TAKEN?
Continuing implementation of planned measures to control and reduce the byproducts so we can consistently meet existing monitoring regulations, as well as those which may be implemented in the future, completing our 2016 planned capital upgrades, and an ongoing, strategically directed flushing program.
The formation of DBPs such as TTHMs and HAAs is the result of many inter-related factors. The Water Division has planned and permitted with our regulatory team at the Florida Department of Health (DOH), a number of water treatment optimizations measures to control and reduce the formation of DBPs even further in our water system moving forward. In addition, a few long-term solutions to reduce the potential for any reoccurrences have been identified which include planned upgrades to our water treatment plant and our booster pumping stations, which are currently a part of the Utilities Commission’s proposed 2016 Capital Improvement Plan. A flushing program will also continue to assist in the reduction of DBP levels and maintain optimum water quality.
PLEASE NOTE – FINAL NOTICE
This will be the final notice that you will receive concerning this event. No additional notifications, associated with this one incident, will be required since the running annual average for the Pompano Road location will have returned to normal levels -with the anticipation that future sample results will be below the MCL’s.
Additional more detailed information relating to possible customer questions about this notice can be accessed at the Utilities Commission’s website -http://www.ucnsb.org. (from the home page click the Inside The UC tab and then Water Resources)
If you have additional questions not addressed in the website information, phone contact can be made to:
Dave Hoover 424-3180, Rob DeLoach 424-3191
Utilities Commission, City of New Smyrna Beach, Florida
ATTN: Dave Hoover, Water Resources Dept.
P.O. Box 100
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170-0100
Please be sure this information is shared with any other people who drink this water, especially those who may have not received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses.) You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.
UCNSB serves approximately 25,250 potable water connections within a service area of 41.3 square miles, and a distribution system that has over 300 miles of piping. In FY 2015, UCNSB provided an average daily flow of 4.82 MGD of potable water to our customers.
The raw water supply for UCNSB is derived from the Floridan aquifer. Our 23 production wells in four distinct well fields draw from this very high quality water source in accordance with our Consumptive Use Permit (CUP), issued by the St. Johns River Water Management District. This permit allows us to withdraw up to 8.33 million gallons per day (MGD) to be used in for potable water supply needs.
Raw water from the well supply is treated at our Class A plant, which is the highest classification level designated by the State. The plant must operate with around the clock personnel 365 days a year. Every operator is fully trained and State certified in this profession. The storage, transmission, and distribution facilities of the water system include 5.9 MG of total storage capacity, 4 booster pumping stations and approximately 250 miles of 6" or larger water mains.
For a copy of the Utilities Commission's 2015 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report in PDF format, CLICK HERE.
Sewer Service and Reuse Water
The Utilities Commission has about 19,000 domestic wastewater customers within a service area of 51.1 square miles. This service area is defined by interlocal agreement between the Utilities Commission, the City of New Smyrna Beach, and Volusia County.
UCNSB’S Class A, 7.0 MGD Advanced Treatment Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) currently processes approximately 3.67 million gallons each day, serving 20,300 connections. All of the highly treated effluent is provided for irrigation in the reuse distribution system to several golf courses, the Sportsplex, medians, and approximately 1540 residential irrigation users.
The wastewater collection system includes approximately 200 miles of gravity sewer and force mains. There are 95 sewage lift stations operating throughout the collection system. These pump stations are monitored by a computerized SCADA system via radio communications.
Q. Why does my water taste different than it does back home?
A. By definition, absolutely pure water should be tasteless. Flavor comes from dissolved substances, whether they are naturally occurring, such as dissolved limestone, or introduced, such as chloramines for disinfection. Well water will taste differently from municipally treated water. Softened water will taste different from water with prominent mineral content. We strive to keep the water as close to its natural state as possible.
Q. Why does water pressure fluctuate?
A. Pressure decreases when demand increases. This happens when most of our part-time residents are here, or during holiday periods. It also occurs between midnight and 6 a.m., due to filling our storage and distribution tanks and routine flushing of lines.
Q. Sometimes I detect an odor…
A. This is likely to occur when water becomes stagnant, causing chlorine levels to drop to zero, or when the water sitting in the “trap” of the drains evaporates and allows gas to seep in from the drain lines. This happens mostly in homes of part-time occupation. Filters on faucet or shower heads may collect sediment and develop an odor, as can hot water heaters (which should be flushed 1 to 2 times annually).
Q. Should I treat my water?
A. There is no need to treat your water. That is what we do. But individual taste preferences vary, and filters are one way to alter taste. Filters need to be maintained to be effective and to eliminate odors (see above). Softeners strip the natural minerals and replace calcium and magnesium with sodium, presenting possible high sodium water. Water stripped of minerals becomes aggressive in trying to re-dissolve minerals and may affect skin and other areas. We maintain a healthy balance between hard and softened water to maximize aesthetic qualities and minimize undesirable side effects.
Q. What’s in the water?
A. Older homes may experience deterioration of plumbing which can contribute to metallic taste or some discoloration. Seasoning of pipes in brand new homes may affect taste or clarity and that should improve over time. Discoloration of sinks, tubs, and shower heads may be from an airborne mold and not from water. Sediment may be from filters, heaters or deterioration of plumbing.
If you have any questions about your water quality, please contact the "Water Quality Hotline" at 386-424-3184.
Q. Will my neighborhood ever get reuse?
A. Established developed areas will not likely get reuse service. Retrofitting already developed areas with a completely new network of pipes for reuse supply is not practical. It is too costly due to excessive disruption of paving, sidewalks and driveways, and it is too much of a burden on resident’s normal quality of life.
NOTE: Our policy is that new developments with access to existing reuse distribution mains install new reuse distribution piping along with new potable water mains, sewer mains, etc. BEFORE streets are constructed, so construction costs are reasonably managed.
Q. Why do the neighborhoods that have reuse get to have something I can’t have?
A. There is not enough reuse flow available for every customer to have this product supplied. It takes approx. 3-4 domestic sewer customers to provide enough irrigation volume for 1 reuse connection.
Q. Why is there water flowing from my fire hydrant?
A. As we all know potable water is a vital commodity which should be justifiably conserved. All regulatory agencies, such as DEP, DOH, and SJRWMD place restrictions on potable water for varying purposes and protections. Potable water flushing from fire hydrants is not inherent to the U.C., it is an integral part of maintaining water quality and protection of the public in all water systems. Routine system flushing is absolutely necessary with a chloramine residual. Distribution systems have piping designed for fire capacity and with current conservation levels by consumers, flushing makes up the difference to keep water meeting disinfectant residuals within potable water standards.
Water mains are flushed to allow freshly treated water to move through the pipes to meet the standards for active disinfectant in the water at the time of sampling. [and flush out any sediments and reduce turbidity]. If possible, the water is flushed into grassy areas. Flushing is a requirement for circulation in the extremities of a service area, to maintain mandatory chlorine residual in any low usage areas and ensures compliance with operating permits. Regulatory test sample thresholds are increasingly becoming narrower and operationally more difficult to meet. Bottom Line – After leaving the plant the water must be used within an exact amount of time before the disinfectant (an oxidant) loses its capability to do its job. Flushing is our means to accomplish this when water use by customers is insufficient. In some places you’ll see a small yellow box on the side of the hydrants equipped with timed release, automated flushing device. In other places you notice our water quality, field technicians manually operating hydrants for the same purpose.
Potable water treatment processes at the U.C. are continually being evaluated and system modifications performed to diminish flushing volumes and enhance the chloramine performance in our distribution system. Examples of best practices for this purpose are detection and repair of leaking pipes, eliminations of redundant piping [situations], installation of chlorine booster pumps if needed, as well as periodic comprehensive free chlorine treatments of our system. Realized by-products of a well maintained water distribution system, beyond health, safety, and ultimately conservation of our drinking water, are also hydraulic capacity improvements and reductions in the re-growth of biofilm and disinfection demand, which correlates into performance improvements and reduced operating costs.