A Balancing Act - Good Water and Low Rates
Congress enacted the Safe Water Act with the goal of providing safe drinking water to all persons served by a public water system. The amendments require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate more contaminants, define maximum contaminant levels, set compliance deadlines, regulate surface water treatment, require disinfection and protection for wells, and strengthen enforcement. The EPA is responsible for setting national drinking water standards; individual states carry out and enforce those regulations for public water systems.
But safe water, and the regulations that ensure it, cost money money that consumers pay in higher water rates. So the City of Yachats is always performing a balancing act to provide the safest water possible, at the lowest cost.
Presently Yachats is required to test for more than contaminants and filter & disinfect the "raw" water. The City must also treat the water to prevent lead and copper contamination that may occur from the property owners' pipes by adding chemicals to prevent corrosion.
Compliance has required the construction of the water plant, certification for the operators, and purchase of additional chemicals.
Advanced contaminant detection improves the quality of the water, but the cost for the testing is high now, and rising each year.
The chemicals currently added to the water cost money. These include Alum and Anthracite Coal as filters, Chlorine as disinfectant, and Soda Ash and Polyphosphate for corrosion control. These chemicals are added to improve the quality of the water and have no adverse health effects.
The City must comply with the requirement that all plant operators are certified. Because of the state-of-the-art facility ran by the City of Yachats the operators must maintain a high level certification. And each operator must continue to attend training sessions each year to ensure they keep it.
The cost to produce the water has been more due to the Federal and State mandates in the past, and are bound to increase in the future as additional testing and chemical requirements are added.
Conservation is one way to control the cost of water production...
Water Conservation City of Yachats