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CITY OF RIVER FALLS: 2008 ANNUAL WATER QUALITY REPORT

Thursday, June 4, 2009 - 1:09am

CITY OF RIVER FALLS MUNICIPAL UTILITY

This report describes River Falls' drinking water sources and quality as well as programs that protect the high quality water and services delivered. Our constant goal is to provide safe drinking water to you every day.

River Falls has a ground water supply with four production wells in two different aquifers. All are located within the city limits. The Prairie du Chien/Jordan (Trempealeau) aquifer is the major municipal ground water source in the region. Two wells are cased into the Jordan Aquifer. Two wells are cased into the Prairie du Chien, but not through it, and therefore get some water from both formations.

We are pleased to report that our water is safe and meets, or is better than, state and federal standards. If you have any questions concerning your water utility, please contact Carl Gaulke, General Manager, at 425-0906. Drinking water is a complex business. If you want to learn more please attend any of our regularly scheduled Utility Commission meetings. They are held on the third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at 222 Lewis Street, unless otherwise specified by public notice.

Our municipal water supply monitoring schedule is based in part on a source water vulnerability assessment prepared by the utility. A copy of this study is available at the Utility Office. The municipal well water is vulnerable to contaminant sources in close proximity to the well. One potential contaminant source is unused, unsafe and non-complying private wells located within the city. As of June 30, 2003, no private wells are permitted within the city limits, except in cases where municipal services are not available. The utility has completed a survey identifying the water supply sources and wellhead protection area for River Falls Municipal water system. From this, a wellhead protection ordinance was developed and formally adopted in 2001. For more information, please contact the Utility Office.

River Falls Municipal Utilities routinely monitors water quality according to federal and state regulations. In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. FDA regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water, which must provide the same protection for public health. The following tables show the results of our monitoring for the period of January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2008. The state allows us to monitor for certain contaminants less than once per year because the concentrations of the contaminants are not expected to vary significantly from year to year. All drinking water, including bottled drinking water, may be reasonably expected to contain small amounts of contaminants. The presence of these contaminants does not necessarily pose a health risk. In the following tables you will find many terms and abbreviations you might not be familiar with. To help you better understand these terms, we are providing the following definitions (see attached PDF file):

We are proud that your drinking water meets or exceeds all State and Federal safe drinking water standards.

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 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 activity. Contaminants in drinking water include:

•microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations and wildlife.

• inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or result from urban storm runoff, industrial, or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining or farming.

•pesticides and herbicides, which may come form a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff and residential uses.

• organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems.

• radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally-occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining

As stated previously, 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. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791. Questions can also be addressed to Linda Knobelock, Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, at 1414 E. Washington Avenue, Room 96, Madison, WI 53707 or call 608-266-0923.

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 microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800) 426-4791.

Safe drinking water is an essential resource for our community. The bottom line is that we utilize the latest technology to treat your drinking water, and this water is tested continuously to insure high quality.

06/04/09


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