Annual Drinking Water Quality Report for 2009
Public Water Supply ID# NY1700019
To comply with New York State regulations, the City of Johnstown will be annually issuing a report describing the quality of your drinking water. The purpose of this report is to raise your understanding of drinking water and awareness of the need to protect our drinking water sources. Last year, your drinking water met all State drinking water health standards. This report is a snapshot of last year’s water quality. We are proud to report that our system did not violate a maximum contaminant level or any other water quality standard. This report provides an overview of last year’s water quality. Included are details about where your water comes from, what it contains, and how it compares to State standards.
If you have any questions about this report or concerning your drinking water, please contact: Mr. Charles R. Kortz, P.E., City Engineer or Ms. Cinda Spraker, Clerk of the Water Board, City of Johnstown 27-31 E. Main Street, Johnstown, NY 12095; Phone: 518.736.4027. We want our valued customers to be informed about their drinking water. If you want to learn more, please attend any of our regularly scheduled Water Board meetings. They are held on the 2nd Monday of each month at 7:00 PM, in the conference room of the Water Department at 27-31 E. Main Street. Please also feel free to visit our website for information: www.cityofjohnstown-ny.com.
Where does our water come from?
In general, 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 and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activities. Contaminants that may be present in source water include: microbial contaminants; inorganic contaminants; pesticides and herbicides; organic chemical contaminants; and radioactive contaminants. In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the State and the EPA prescribe regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. The State Health Department’s and the FDA’s regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health.
The City of Johnstown operates two slow sand filtration plants. Both plants are located west of the City in the Town of Johnstown and obtain their raw water from three separate sources: 1) Christman reservoir with a 10,000,000 gallon capacity; 2) Cork Center Reservoir with a 140,000,000 gallon capacity; 3) Larrabee Reservoir with a 40,000,000 gallon capacity. The three reservoirs have a combined storage capacity of just under 200,000,000 gallons surrounded by a 2,000 acre watershed. From the reservoirs the water flows by gravity feed to each of the slow sand filtration plants. The combined filtration capacity, for both plants, is 4,500,000 gallons of water per day. The water is filtered through sand to remove any small particles and then disinfected with chlorine to protect against contamination from harmful bacteria and other organisms. We have a 100,000 gallon clearwell at the Christman Treatment Plant and a 500,000 gallon clearwell at the Cork Center Treatment Plant. The clearwells provide storage capacity and additional contact time for disinfection. Water flows from the clearwells to a 3,000,000 gallon open reservoir in the northern part of the city. The open reservoir is commonly known as Maylender reservoir. This allows us to store treated water and to provide adequate fire protection. The water is also re-chlorinated as it leaves this reservoir.
Facts and Figures
The City of Johnstown provides water through 3,200 service connections to a population of approximately 8,511 people as well as many businesses. Our average daily demand is 1,820,000 gallons of water. Our highest single daily demand was 2,792,000 gallons. In 2009 we treated a total of 664,179,000 gallons of water with the combination of the Christman and Cork Center Treatment Plants. A total of 461,755,041 gallons was billed to customers. As a result, a total of 202,423,959 gallons of water (or 30.50%) was lost in the transmission and distribution system. This can be attributed to water usage for fire protection, flushing, and leaks as well as overflow at the city’s open treated water reservoir (Maylender’s reservoir).
The City bills each and every water customer semi-annually based on water meter usage. Large Industrial users are billed monthly based on water meter usage. The following rates apply to all customers every six months (or monthly if Industrial customer): A minimum bill of $49.60 is charged for the first 2,000 cubic feet. Rates are as follows: $2.48 per 100 cubic feet (748 gallons) for the first 200,000 cubic feet and $1.80 per 100 cubic feet for all water used after 200,000 cubic feet for the remaining six month (or one month) billing period. The average annual charge per residential user is approximately $260.00.
Are there contaminants in our drinking water?
In accordance with State regulations, the City of Johnstown routinely monitors your drinking water for numerous contaminants. These contaminants include: inorganic compounds, radiological contaminants, lead and copper, nitrate, volatile organic compounds, synthetic organic compounds, total trihalomethanes, and haloacetic acids. In addition, we test 10 samples for coliform bacteria each month and chlorine, turbidity, and pH once per day. The tables presented on pages 3 and 4 depict which compounds were detected in your drinking water. The State allows us to test for some contaminants less than once per year because the concentrations of these contaminants are not expected to vary significantly from year to year. Some of our data, though representative, are more than one year old and is noted. For a listing of the parameters we analyzed that were not detected along with the frequency of testing for compliance with the NYS Sanitary Code, see Appendix A.
It should be noted that all drinking water, including bottled drinking water, may be reasonably expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily pose a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800.426.4791) or the New York State Department of Health, Herkimer District Office at 315.866.6879.
What does this information mean?
As you can see by the table, our system had no violations. We have learned through our monitoring and testing that some contaminants have been detected; however, these contaminants were detected below the level allowed by New York State regulations. MCL’s are set at very stringent levels. To understand the possible health effects described for many regulated contaminants, a person would have to drink two liters of water every day at the MCL level for a lifetime to have a one-in-a-million chance of having the described health effect.
Is our water system meeting other rules that govern operations?
During 2009, our system was in compliance with applicable State drinking water operating, monitoring and reporting requirements. Additionally, compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Long Term Stage 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule began in 2008 and continued through 2009. The first phase of this rule requires us to monitor and report coliform and e.coli bacteria in the raw water supply reservoirs. U.S. EPA will use the data for future regulatory guidance.
Do I Need to Take Special Precautions?
Although our drinking water met or exceeded state and federal regulations, some people may be more vulnerable to disease causing microorganisms or pathogens 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 from their health care provider about their drinking water. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium, Giardia and other microbial pathogens are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800.426.4791).
What is the Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP)?
To emphasize the protection of surface and ground water sources used for public drinking water, Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) in 1996. The amendments require that New York State Departmnet of Health’s Bureau of Public Water Supply Protection is responsible for ensuring that source water assessments are completed for all of New York’s public water systems.
A source water assessment
provides information on the potential contaminant threats to public drinking
A SWAP summary for our water supply has not been completed by NYSDOH at this time. It may be presented in next year’s report.
Water Conservation Tips
The City of Johnstown encourages water conservation. There are many things we can all do to conserve water in our homes and businesses. Saving water reduces energy consumption and some of the costs associated with both of these necessities of life. Saving water also lessens the strain on the water system during dry spells or droughts, helping to avoid severe water use restrictions so that essential fire fighting needs are met. Conservation tips include:
water saving showerheads.
Capital Improvement Projects
During 2009, no significant changes were made to the water system. However, the water department remained committed to improving the adequacy of the city’s water system by installing new services for new homes and businesses, replacing old or irreparable water services, gate valves and hydrants and replaced a section of water main on Grove St. between Pleasant Ave. and Elizabeth St. The water department received the final engineering report for water system improvements in 2009 and replacement of the Maylender open water storage reservoir. A consultant was hired for design and construction phase services for this project in late 2008 and construction is now scheduled for 2010.
Thank you for allowing us to continue to provide you with clean, quality drinking water this year. In order to maintain a safe and dependable water supply we sometimes need to make improvements that will benefit all of our customers. The costs of these improvements may be reflected in the rate structure. Rate adjustments may be necessary in order to address these improvements. We ask that all our customers help us protect our water sources, which are the heart of our community. Please call our office if you have questions.
The City of Johnstown is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Discrimination is prohibited by Federal Law. Complaints of discrimination may be filed with the USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410.
Turbidity is a
measure of the cloudiness of the water. We monitor and test it because it is a
good indicator of the effectiveness of our
Maximum Contaminant Level
The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are
set as close to the MCLGs as feasible.