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City Officials Address Drinking Water Violation

3/26/2010
Deb Ary, Water Utility Superintendent | DAry@wichita.gov | (316) 269-4760

Corrective steps taken

City of Wichita Water Utility officials on Friday announced they had taken steps to correct a violation of federal drinking water standards for turbidity, or cloudiness.

City water remains safe to use and turbidity levels are now in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency standards, Chris Carrier, the interim Director of Water Utilities said. The turbidity violation is not considered a public health emergency and tests did not show contamination or disease-causing organisms in the drinking water.

The corrective steps included reducing the amount of water being drawn from Cheney Reservoir, adjusting treatment chemicals and reviewing past practices for treating turbidity.

“The turbidity levels are relatively low,” Carrier said. “However, their persistence was a concern.”

Turbidity testing shows whether the system is effectively filtering the City’s water supply. No more than five percent of monthly samples may exceed 0.3 turbidity units, according to EPA standards. In March, City officials said their testing indicated that 12% of turbidity measurements exceeded 0.3 turbidity units.

As part of an EPA required public awareness effort, City officials began mailing notices to Utility customers this week. Information on drinking water guidelines is available at the EPA’s “Safe Drinking Water Hotline” (1-800-426-4791) or at www.epa.gov/safewater/.

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