The annual report testing the Springfield water quality has been mailed and distributed to Springfield water customers and shows safe, good quality drinking water, according to the report.
Terry Beers, director of Springfield’s Water & Wastewater Department, said the state requires the water department to let the public know the quality of water they are using and drinking on a day-to-day basis.
“It’s good for the public to know if we’ve had any problems,” Beers said. “But if everything is going well, they need to know about that too.”
There are about 10 regulated substances in the annual testing of water, which include atrazine, a runoff from herbicide used on row crops.
The highest report throughout the year, following several samples of testing of Atrazine, recorded a 0.3 parts per billion (ppb) of Atrazine, according to Bryan Suter, chief operator for the Springfield Water Treatment Plant.
The Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for atrazine is 3.
There were 3 out of 4 (ppm) parts per million of chlorine tested in Springfield’s water.
Fluoride tested at 0.58 (ppm) out of 4 for the maximum contaminant level allowed.
There were 45 (ppb) of Haloacetic acids, a by-product of drinking water disinfection
Testing on water samples collected for copper and lead analyses is required every three years, according to Suter. The samples are taken from various sites throughout the community.
In 2017, the most recent test conducted for copper and lead, no violations were reported.
“Everything is good,” Suter said. “We’ve had no problems, no violations. Our testing shows that everything is well below the MCL.”
Suter said the nitrate reading is the only substance he feels should be lower.
The highest level of nitrate that is allowed in drinking water is 10. Springfield’s water reported the nitrate level at 5.6, which is still below the maximum contaminant level.
“The nitrate comes from the farmers spraying nitrogen on the fields,” Suter said. “A lot of their fertilizers have nitrogen in them. When they spray it on the field and we get a heavy rain, the nitrogen washes off into the Red River, which increases the nitrates.”
Bottled water vs. Springfield water
“Springfield’s water is safe,” Suter said. “A lot of people I know trust bottled water more than they do ours. But to be honest, bottled water goes through a treatment plant like ours and then goes through a reverse osmosis process and that takes out the chlorine that we put in for disinfection purposes.”
Suter said while the EPA and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation ensures the tap water is safe to drink, it’s the FDA that establishes regulations or limits for contaminants in bottled water, which must provide the same protection for public health.