Page 43 - Salem Magazine Spring 2014
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  We constantly monitor for various constituents in the water supply to meet all regulatory requirements. Monitoring various sites in the distribution system helps us to better protect public health. During 2013 your water system conducted the triennial lead and copper monitoring.
Parts per billion (ppb) or Micrograms per liter - one part per billion corresponds to one minute in 2,000 years, or a single penny in $10,000,000.
For those of you that assisted us in this process I want to thank you for your assistance. I hope that you will continue to help ensure that your water and the water of all your fellow citizens remain within the health standards required by the Virginia Department of Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection (USEPA). Also this year we will be doing Assessment Monitoring for 21 contaminants. This will assist the USEPA in acquiring scientifically valid data on the possible occurrence of unregulated contaminants in drinking water.
Parts per quadrillion (ppq) or Picograms per liter (picograms/l) - one part per quadrillion corresponds to one minute in 2,000,000,000 years or one penny in $10,000,000,000,000.
Parts per trillion (ppt) or Nanograms per liter (nanograms/l) - one part per trillion corresponds to one minute in 2,000,000 years, or a single penny in $10,000,000,000.
Picocuries per liter (pCi/L) - picocuries per liter is a measure of the radioactivity in water.
Millirems per year (mrem/yr) - measure of radiation absorbed by the body.
Water Report
minute in two years or a single penny in $10,000.
public water systems. (MCL‘s are set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In developing the standards EPA assumes that the average adult drinks two (2) liters of water each day throughout a 70-year life span. The USEPA generally sets MCL’s at levels that will result in no adverse health effects for some contaminants or a one-in-ten-thousand to one-in- a-million chance of having the described health effect for other contaminants.) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same public health protection. This table lists contaminants that had some level of detection. Many other contaminants were analyzed for but were not present or were below the detection limits of the lab equipment. Most of the results in the table are from testing done in 2012. However, state and federal agencies allows us to monitor for some contaminants less than once per year because the concentrations of the contaminants do not change frequently. Some of our data, though accurate, is more than one yearold.
Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU) - nephelometric turbidity unit is a measure of the clarity of water. Turbidity in excess of 5 NTU is just noticeable to the average person.
This report shows our water quality and what it means. If you have any questions concerning this report or your water utility, please contact Frank Young – Chief Water Treatment Plant Operator, or Marcus Potts – Chemist at 540- 375-3029. We want our valued customers to be informed about their water utility. If you want to learn more, please attend any of the regularly scheduled City Council meetings. They are held on the second and fourth Monday of each month in council chambers.
Action Level - The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.
All drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by cryptosporidium and other microbiological contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791) or
The City of Salem Water Department routinely monitors for constituents in your drinking water mandated by Federal and State laws. The following table shows the results of our monitoring for the period of January 1st to December 31st, 2013. All drinking water, including bottled drinking water, may be reasonably expected to contain at least small amounts of some constituents. It’s important to remember that the presence of these constituents does not necessarily pose a health risk.
Maximum Contaminant Level - The “Maximum Allowed” (MCL) is the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.
In the following table you will find many terms and abbreviations you might not be familiar with. To help you better understand these terms we’ve provided the following definitions:
As you can see by the table, our system had no violations. We’re proud that your drinking water meets or exceeds all Federal and State requirements. We have learned through our monitoring and testing that some constituents have been detected. The USEPA has determined that your water IS SAFE at these levels. In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, USEPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by
To learn even more about your water after reviewing this report, please call our office at 540-375-3029 or visit the City’s website at www.
Non-Detects (ND) - laboratory analysis indicates that the constituent is not present.
We at the City of Salem Water Department work around the clock to provide top quality water to every tap. We ask that all our customers help us protect our water sources, which are the heart of our community, our way of life and our children’s future.
Parts per million (ppm) or Milligrams per liter (mg/l) - one part per million corresponds to one
Million Fibers per Liter (MFL) - million fibers per liter is a measure of the presence of asbestos fibers that are longer than 10 micrometers.
Treatment Technique (TT) - A treatment technique is a required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.
Maximum Contaminant Level Goal - The “Goal”(MCLG) is the level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.

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