Water Department- Consumer Confidence Report

Our Mission Continues

We are proud to present once again our annual water quality report covering all testing performed between January 1 and December 31, 2014. Most notably, last year marked the 40th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). This rule was created to protect public health by regulating the nation's drinking water supply. We celebrate this milestone as we continue to manage our water system with a mission to deliver the best-quality drinking water. By striving to meet the requirements of SDWA, we are ensuring a future of healthy, clean drinking water for years to come.

Community Participation

You are invited to participate in our public forum and voice your concerns about your drinking water. We meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month beginning at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 324 North Kansas Ave, Liberal, Kansas.

Important Health Information

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immunocompromised persons such as those with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, those who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants may be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. The U.S. EPA/CDC (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of inflection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791 or http://water.epa.gov/drink/hotline.

Lead in Home Plumbing

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. We are responsible for providing high-quality drinking water, but we 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 www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.

Source Water Assessment

The Kansas State Department of Health and Environment performed the required U.S. EPA Source Water Assessment. Our scores ranged from 24 to 64, which puts us in the low and moderate susceptibility ranges. Fortunately, none of our assessment areas was in the 80 and above high susceptibility range. Copies of the completed assessment are available at the City of Liberal Water Department, 1021 North Grant,Liberal. Kansas.

Where Does My Water Come From?

Our primary drinking water supply is from a groundwater source called the Ogallala, or High Plains Aquifer. The rock type in the aquifer is unconsolidated sand and gravel. We have 20 wells place throughout Liberal. Demand for good. safe drinking water is high; we provide our customers almost 2.5 million gallons of water a day.

Our groundwater supply is not exposed to air and is not subject to the direct pollution and contamination that rivers and open reservoirs receive. In fact, because groundwater is the highest-quality water available to meet the public health demand of water intended for human consumption, we are able to provide your water directly from the source. However, as a precaution against any bacteria that may be present, we chlorinate our water before sending it to sanitized underground water reservoirs, water towers and into your home or business. Twenty samples are submitted each month to the Kansas State Department of Health and Environment;s laboratory for microbiology analysis. Also, we carefully monitor the amount of chlorine, adding the lowest quantity necessary to protect the safety of your water without compromising taste.

Water Conservation 
You can play a role in conserving water and saving yourself money in the process by becoming conscious of the amount of water your household is using and by looking for ways to use less whenever you can. It is not hard to conserve water. Here are a few tips:
  • Automatic dishwashers use 15 gallons for every cycle, regardless of how many dishes are loaded. So get a run for your money and load it to capacity.
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. 
  • Check every faucet in your home for leaks. Just a slow drip can waste 15 to 20 gallons a day. Fix it and you can save almost 6,000 gallons a year. 
  • Check your toilets for leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in the tank. Watch for a few minutes to see if the color shows up in the bowl. It is no uncommon to lose up to 100 gallons a day from an invisible toilet leak. Fix it and you can save more than 30,000 gallons a year.
  • Use your water meter to detect hidden leaks. Simply turn off all taps and water using appliances. Then check the meter after 15 minutes, if it moved you have a leak.
Water Treatment Process
The treatment process consists of a series of steps. First, raw water is drawn from our water source and sent to an aeration tank, which allows for oxidation of the high iron levels that are present in the water. The water then goes to a mixing tank where polyaluminum chloride and soda ash are added. The addition of these substances causes small particles to adhere to one another (called floc), making them heavy enough to settle into a basin from which sediment is removed. Chlorine is then added for disinfection. At this point, the water is filtered through layers of fine coal and silicate sand. As smaller, suspended particles are removed, turbidity disappears and clear water emerges.
Chlorine is added again as a precaution against any bacteria that may still be present. (As mentioned earlier in this report, we carefully monitor the amount of chlorine, adding the lowest quantity necessary to protect the safety of your water without compromising taste.) Finally, soda ash (to adjust the final pH and alkalinity), fluoride (to prevent tooth decay), and a corrosion inhibitor (to protect distribution system pipes) are added before the water is pumped to sanitized, underground reservoirs, water towers, and into your home or business.


Substances That Could Be in Water
To ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the U.S. EPA prescribes regulations limiting the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water that must provide the same protection for public health. Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of these contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. 
The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include 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, in some cases, radioactive material and substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity. Substances that may be present in source water include:
Microbial Contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria. which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, or wildlife;
Inorganic Contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally occurring or may result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges,oil and gas production, mining or farming;
Pesticides and Herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff and residential uses;
Organic Chemical Contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum and may also come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff and septic systems. 
Radioactive Contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or maybe the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

For more information about contaminants and potential health effects, call U.S. EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791.
Questions? 
For more information about this report, or for any questions relating to your drinking water, please call Calvin Burke, Water Department Superintendent, at (620) 626-0138.