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The original item was published from 7/22/2016 9:27:00 AM to 7/22/2016 10:23:05 AM.

News Flash

City of Ithaca News

Posted on: July 12, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Water Quality in the City of Ithaca - July 2016

Water Discoloration and Odor

• The City has been treating the water to reduce the discoloration and has been flushing the distribution system at the hydrants throughout the city to clear the discolored water.• On Monday the City made further adjustments to treatment levels and locations at the plant to optimize the removal of iron and manganese.
• We are receiving fewer complaints, though some problem areas persist.

• The City added an additional pre-treatment point at the raw water intake at the reservoir on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. This should allow us to settle out more of the iron and manganese that is present in the raw water and will help reduce the odors. Once that process begins, we will wait about a week for the system to reach equilibrium before making further process adjustments.
• The City will continue to flush hydrants to remove the discolored water from the system.• The City is in regular communication with the County Health Department, who is reviewing test results and advising on actions to take, including additional testing. We are complying with all of the health department’s requirements.
• The City will be increasing the amount of testing for iron and manganese, color and turbidity, temperature, and orthophosphate levels throughout the system and will be reporting to the health department until the problems subside.

Lead and Copper

Background• The City water source and water distribution system were tested for lead in 2015 and results met the drinking water standards for lead, indicating that the water system is not a significant source of lead.
• The high lead levels detected in water from plumbing fixtures at a number of city facilities were from samples taken before the recent discoloration issues, following on the news from the local school districts. The likely source of this lead is the piping and fixtures at these facilities, not the city water itself.• All of the drinking fountains and the ice machine in city facilities that showed high lead levels were taken out of service, though they were not physically removed. All of the sinks and hose bibs that showed high lead levels were labeled as not suitable for drinking.
• Many of the fountains and sinks at city facilities tested OK and were not taken out of service.• The participants at the Stewart and Cass Park day camps are drinking from fixtures that tested OK.

• The fountains that tested high for lead will be kept out of service. Day campers will continue to drink from water fountains or from coolers filled at fountains or sinks that tested OK.• The City has submitted to the County Health Department the results of the lead tests that were performed at all of the city facilities. The City will follow their recommendations for follow up testing at those facilities.
• The health department has requested that the City repeat the every-three-year lead and copper tests that were last performed in 2015. Because there are not significant lead levels in the city water and the distribution system, these tests are designed to show how much lead may be entering the water from the plumbing in buildings served by city water. These tests involve selecting 60 single family and multi-family homes with lead service lines that are served by city water and drawing sample from their kitchen sinks and sending those water samples out for testing. • A summary of the results of those tests will be made public when they are available.
• The first round of testing for lead and copper will be conducted between now and December.• Another round of testing for lead and copper will take place the first half of 2017.
• The County Health Department has made information available for homeowners who are concerned about lead in their drinking water at the link below.

Water Testing Results from Microbac

Additional info about lead in drinking water