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Drinking Water Consumer Confidence Report For 2014

The Village of Bluffton has prepared the following report to provide information to you, the consumer, on the quality of your drinking water.  Included within this report is general health information, water quality test results, how to participate in decisions concerning your drinking water and water system contacts.  
 

What’s the source of your drinking water?

The Village of Bluffton receives its drinking water from the Village of Ottawa.  We have a current, unconditioned license to operate our water system. The Village of Ottawa Public Water System draws its drinking water from the Blanchard River, which runs south of the Water Treatment Plant.  For the purposes of source water assessments in Ohio, all surface waters are considered to be susceptible to contamination and require extensive treatment before being used as a drinking water.  By their nature, surface waters are readily accessible and can be contaminated by chemicals and pathogens, which may rapidly arrive at the public drinking water intake with little warning or time to prepare.  The Village of Ottawa’s drinking water source protection area contains potential contaminant sources such as agriculture, home construction, septic systems, combined sewer overflows, wastewater treatment discharges, commercial and industrial sources, roadways, and railways.

The Village of Ottawa’s Public Water System treats the water to meet drinking water quality standards, but no single treatment technique can address all potential contaminants.  Implementing measures to protect the Blanchard River can further decrease the potential for water quality impacts.  More detailed information is provided in the Village of Ottawa’s Drinking Water Source Assessment report, which can be obtained by calling Jason Phillips at (419) 523-5020.
 

What are sources of contamination to drinking water?

The sources of drinking water, both tap water and bottled water, includes rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells.  As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.

Contaminants that may be present in source water include: (A) Microbial Contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations and wildlife; (B) Inorganic Contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally occurring or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming; (C) Pesticides and Herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses; (D) Organic Chemical Contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff, and septic systems; (E) Radioactive Contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or can be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.
In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, USEPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems.  FDA regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water, which must provide the same protection for the public health.

During the First, Second, Third and Fourth Quarters of 2014, the Village of Bluffton’s Running Annual Average, as calculated per EPA requirements, was in violation of the Maximum Contaminant Level for Total Trihalomethanes. This contaminant is a byproduct of the disinfection process. The Village’s supplier, the Ottawa Water System, is in the process of installing an Ohio EPA-approved system for controlling the levels of TTHM in the drinking water in their distribution system. The successful completion of this project is projected to bring the drinking water into full compliance with drinking water regulations. According to the Ohio EPA, some people who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous systems and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants.  The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk.  More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline (1-800-426-4791).
 

Who needs to take special precautions?

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population.  Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders and the elderly and infants can be particularly at risk from infection.  These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.  EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (1-800-426-4791).

If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children.  Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing.  The Village of Bluffton is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components.  When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking.  If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested.  Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at http://epa.gov/safewater/lead.

 

About your drinking water:

The EPA requires regular sampling to ensure drinking water safety.  The Village of Ottawa conducted sampling for total coliform bacteria, inorganics, and synthetic and volatile organic contaminants during 2014. Samples are collected for more than 80 different contaminants, most of which were not detected above minimal amounts in the Village of Ottawa’s water supply.  The Ohio EPA requires the Village to monitor for some contaminants less than once per year because concentrations of these contaminants do not change frequently.  Some of the data, though accurate, may be more than one year old.  The data presented within the Consumer Confidence Report is from the most recent testing done in accordance with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Division of Drinking and Ground Water regulations.

The Village of Ottawa routinely monitors its drinking water for contaminants to ensure drinking water safety. The following pages are summarized information on those agents for which testing has been done. The EPA requires certain terminology and abbreviates, and that specific calculations be performed for different contaminants. To help better understand these terms, definitions have been provided.  The analytical results presented in the tables are the most recent testing results done in accordance with regulations.

The value reported under the “Level Found” section for Total Organic Carbon (TOC) is the lowest ratio between the percentage of TOC actually removed to the percentage of TOC removal required by the EPA. A value of greater than (1) indicates that the water system is in compliance with TOC removal requirements, whereas a value of less than one (<1) indicates="" a="" violation="" of="" the="" span="" data-scayt_word="toc" data-scaytid="11">toc="" removal="" br="" />
Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness of water and an indication of the effectiveness of the filter system.  The turbidity limit is set by the EPA is 0.3 NTU in 95% of the daily samples and shall not exceed 1.0 NTU at any time.  As reported on the spreadsheet, the Village’s highest recorded daily turbidity result for 2013 was 0.12 NTU and the lowest percentage of samples meeting the turbidity limits was 100.0%.

 Listed in Table 1 is information on those contaminants that were found in the drinking water. (see full report)
 

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How do I participate in decisions concerning my drinking water?

Public participation and comments are encouraged at regular meetings of Council which meet the first and third Mondays of each month at 8:00 p.m. in the Town Hall at 154 N. Main Street, Bluffton, Ohio 45817.  If you would prefer to address your concerns in letter form, you may send it to:

    James R. Mehaffie, Administrator
    P.O. Box 63
    Bluffton, OH  45817-0063
Or call: 419-358-2066 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Download a PDF of the full report.


 

 

 
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