Salem water customers to see quality report with bills

SALEM – Salem water customers can expect to see the utility department’s annual Consumer Confidence Report in the mail this week, showing no violations in 2012 and levels of contaminants well within federal limits.

“All in all, it’s a good report,” city Utilities Superintendent Don Weingart said Tuesday.

According to a press release issued by his office, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) promulgated a rule on Aug. 19, 1998 that requires community water systems to prepare and provide an annual Consumer Confidence Report to their customers. The action was mandated by 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act, with the reports providing valuable “right-to-know” information for customers of community water systems.

“The Consumer Confidence Report contains information on the quality of the water delivered by the Salem Public Water Supply System and characterizes any risk from exposure to contaminants in the drinking water, if found,” the press release said.

The report will be mailed to each customer address on Friday with the monthly bill. Anyone who does not receive the report can obtain a copy at the Salem Utilities Department Billing Office, 231 S. Broadway Ave., Salem, Ohio 44460.

The report includes information about where the water comes from, why there are contaminants in the drinking water, what’s in the water and how it measures up to set standards. All communities have to issue a report, with Weingart noting that both Leetonia and Washingtonville, which receive water from the city, have to issue their own reports, although he said the information will come from the city’s report.

The report reflects test results from 2012 for specific contaminants, such as haloacetic acids or total trihalomethanes, which are chlorine by-products, measured in parts per billion.

According to Weingart, the city will be watching the results for those two contaminants especially this year due to new limits set. He explained that as water warms up, they have to keep a closer eye on these chlorine by-products that form with organics naturally in the water.

Most of the water for the city comes from Cold Run Creek and the Cold Run Creek water wells located off of Depot Road. Other sources include the East Cold Run Reservoir and the Spring Valley Reservoir.

Anyone with questions about the report can contact Weingart at 330-337-8723 or water plant manager Larry Sebrell at 330-222-1531.