Is Local Drinking Water Safe?

JONESBORO (KAIT)-Every minute thousands of gallons of water are pumped from City Water and Light's facilities to customers in the area.

So, when news broke of traces of drugs in drinking water systems across the nation, company officials were happy to report this...

"We really don't think it's going to be an impact to our customers," said Kevan Inboden.

That's good news, because nationwide nearly 41-million people's drinking water has been found to have traces of everything from mood stabilizers to sex hormones in it.

"I think anything that brings awareness to water quality is a good thing. If it can heighten the awareness of the criticalness of protecting our water sheds, protecting our ground water, then that's a good thing," said Inboden.

Kevan Inboden is CWL's Chief Engineer and says because our water is ground water, coming from wells deep below the surface, there is little run off into our supply.

"The water is very high quality by the time it gets to the point we are discharging from or pumping from," said Inboden.

But even once it's extracted water it treated before being pumped into the main system.

"We'll take our sample that we got from our tap, and we'll check it. We try to dose about a 1.0 chlorine residual, and here it shows we have a .98," said Chad Turner, a water operator for CWL.

Every day it's his duty to check the chlorine and Ph levels of our water.

Not only does CWL do testing at their pumping locations, but they also have one of the few state approved laboratories to do bacteriological testing of drinking water.

"We have very stringent standards that we're required to follow. We're happy to say that City Water and Light has over 100 years of history of not only meeting those standards, but exceeding those," said Inboden.

So for now, they say don't panic and urge everyone to keep a balanced perspective on these recent findings.

"While we think the issue is a non-issue, certainly we need to investigate it because it is drinking water. It is something that is critical to all of us," said Inboden.

Inboden said when you really break the numbers down, your looking at traces of drugs only in the one per trillions range which isn't much to fear.

However, he says if there was ever a problem with the city's drinking water, they would promptly let everyone know.

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