Click here for videos
Quality, treatment and testing
The water is tested throughout the treatment process. After the treated water leaves our plants, we test it daily throughout the distribution system. In fact, we conduct a minimum of 300 tests a month for bacteria alone.
Odor tests are performed a minimum of once a month on both the Missouri River water and on tap water. We also have a special device in the lab which we use to monitor the odor of the tap water on a 24-hour basis. The only time the taste of the water is checked is if there has been a complaint about the taste by a customer. We then will obtain a sample of that water and check its taste. During spring runoff, we check odor daily or as often as necessary.
Carbon remove tastes and odors from the water. The tastes and odors are caused by decaying vegetation and other wastes that are produced during the spring runoff. Carbon also removes pesticides such as atrazine and volatile organic compounds.
Our water quality surpasses all federal and state standards. The current standard for lead is 15 parts per billion.
Many homes may have lead service pipes or copper plumbing with lead soldered joints. When water is corrosive, lead can be dissolved into the water from the pipes. The water supplied by M.U.D. is not corrosive. It actually protects the water from lead in pipes or joints by forming a harmless buildup of minerals inside the pipes.
Steps to Limit Lead Exposure in Drinking Water
While water providers have taken steps to limit lead in drinking water, you can take the following steps if you are concerned about your lead exposure:
The Missouri River has naturally occurring fluoride in the range of 0.5 to 0.6 parts per million and the Platte River has it in the range of 0.25 to 0.4 parts per million. We add enough fluoride to make the tap water concentration approximately 0.8 parts per million.
Certain types of home treatment devices will remove 85 percent to more than 95 percent of all the minerals in water, including fluoride. These are reverse osmosis, distillation units and deionization units (not water softeners-they leave fluoride in the water). If you use one of these types of devices, consult with your dentist about fluoride and possibly your doctor about iodine supplements.
Cryptosporidium is a protozoan parasite and one-celled animal too small to be seen without a microscope. It's common in surface waters (lakes and rivers), especially when these waters contain a high amount of sewage or animal waste.
Cryptosporidium can cause symptoms that include diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps or all three. Because many other conditions can produce these same symptoms, a special laboratory test is needed to find out whether Cryptosporidium is the cause.
The District monitors the raw and treated water at both treatment plants for Cryptosporidium with monthly tests. It has never been found in our treated water.
Immuno-compromised people-such as those with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some older adults and infants-may be particularly at risk from infections. These people should get advice about drinking water from their health care providers. For more information, contact the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline, 800.426.4791 or go to their website, (www.epa.gov/safewater).
Usually a thin coating of calcium carbonate (scale) helps to prevent the corrosion of pipes. Scaling may occur in the hot water pipes due to precipitation of some of the hardness found in the water. At the Florence Water Treatment Plant approximately 35 percent of the hardness is removed from the raw Missouri River water before it is put into our distribution system.
Radioactive wastes from OPPD's nuclear power plant have not been detected.
No. You still will need a free chlorine residual to retard algae and bacteria growths. Contact your local pool supply stores for specific information.
Any activated carbon water filter will remove chloramine just as it removes chlorine. However, consult your manufacturer for specific information.
(Answers to some of the technical questions in this section were taken from Plain Talk About Drinking Water by Dr. James M. Symons. The book is available through the Omaha Public Library. For more information on bottled water, see the FDA website: http://www.fda.gov.)
Hardness in drinking water is caused mainly by two minerals -- calcium and magnesium. If calcium or magnesium is present in your water in substantial amounts, the water is said to be hard because making a lather or suds for washing is (hard) difficult to do. Water containing little calcium or magnesium is called soft water.
M.U.D. water has negligible amounts of iron so the water should not be causing the problem.
We lime-soften the water to about 170 milligrams per liter, which is the same as 10 grains per gallon of hardness. This is soft enough to be suitable for all home uses.
During lime-softening, the lime (calcium) added is removed from the water along with calcium and magnesium (hardness) naturally present in the water. (In home softeners, sodium is added to the water in exchange for the hardness removed)
M.U.D.'s water will deposit small amounts of calcium carbonate in your pipes and on fixtures. It is a tan color. This is good because this means the water does not dissolve chemicals, such as copper, from your plumbing.
Chlorine oxidizes the bacteria, destroying it.
Many tests have shown that the amount of chlorine found in treated water is safe to drink, although some people may object to the taste. Chlorine in drinking water does not cause diarrhea in humans or animals.
No, for three reasons:
Aluminum-containing chemicals, called alum or aluminum sulfate, are used to treat most surface waters. These chemicals trap dirt and then form large particles in the water that settle out so very little aluminum stays in the water.
We have no statistical data on this assertion.
Air in water occurs naturally and is released when cold water is warmed by sitting in household plumbing lines or hot water heaters.
Potability means the quality of being drinkable.
(Answers to some of the technical questions in this section were taken from Plain Talk About Drinking Water by Dr. James M. Symons. The book is available through the Omaha Public Library.)