City of Claremore utility customers can expect a letter in the mail this week regarding the drinking water produced by the city.
The form letter will be mailed on June 25 and states that the city's water recently violated drinking water standards.
When one of those test samples violates Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality standards, the City must notify its customers.
“Sometimes the letters can cause unnecessary panic because they come across as much worse than they actually are,” said Cassie Woods, Director of Communications.
The City tests monthly for several different factors in the drinking water
“You do not need to use an alternate water supply or take other actions. However, if you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor,” according to the letter.
The test sample that was found to be in violation was that of the Total Organic Carbon content, or TOC. TOC is naturally occurring and not due to any chemicals. It is made up of natural items like algae or decomposing leaves.
“There are no health risks associated with TOC, although they are an indicator of risks as they can become problematic when combined with chlorine,” according to city officials.
The removal of TOC is very dependent on the alkalinity of the water.
Alkalinity has a buffering capability which keeps the TOC at a
Because Claremore Lake is a very shallow reservoir, unlike Grand Lake, for example, where there is a much deeper source to pull from, when there are rainy weather conditions, the alkalinity drops.
This drop can create problems in reaching the required removal
percentage of TOC.
The advantage of a lower alkalinity is that it prevents hard water.
The average TOC removal for the testing period was 0.96. The required removal number is 1.0, so the test samples were very close. In fact, there were no violations in the DEQ mandates for the most-recent Consumer Confidence Report.
“Still, the City of Claremore is continuing to take steps to improve the quality of the water,” according to Woods.
Since these samples were taken, the filter media has been replaced with the filter control panels rebuilt, the towers have been flushed and the City has also had new SCADA equipment installed to regulate the chemical feed electronically, she said.
The City is also using new equipment to check the TOC more regularly, according to Woods.
For more information on the test samples or the letter, contact the Water Filtration Plant at (918) 341-1331.