By Bobbie Crockett/OF THE COMMERCIAL STAFF
Water Industry News
United Water of Pine Bluff water quality better than Federal standards
and getting better
Water supplied by United Water Arkansas met government safety
standards for 2003, according to the utility's Consumer Confidence
"Our goal is to meet all safe water standards and we've done
that," said Lester Melton, United Water's general manager.
"In fact, we've exceeded in almost all categories."
The utility regularly tests water samples around the community to
make sure it complies with safety standards.
Tests monitor levels of various items including coliform bacteria,
nitrogen from fertilizer runoff and elsewhere, and copper and lead
from corroded household pipes.
Nitrogen, copper and lead can also result from the erosion of
natural resources and coliform bacteria is naturally found in the
Based on results of monitoring during 2003, the level of coliform
bacteria detected was 3.33 percent - below the maximum allowable level
of 5 percent. Fluoride was also below the contaminant level as were
the trace amounts of nitrogen, lead and copper, according to the
United Water does sampling at each of its three water treatment
plants daily, said Paul Carlson, the utility's production manager.
"Through our tests we can ensure that the water is safe to
drink," he said.
United Water is also required to sample once every three years for
lead and copper at customers' taps. More than 30 customers received
letters this month asking them to participate in the sampling.
"It's basically for the protection of everybody, so we can see
there's no lead or copper leeching into the water at harmful
levels," Carlson said.
The samples are sent to the Arkansas Department of Health for
analysis. All test results are kept on file by the department, which
monitors and regulates drinking water quality.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the ADH require water
suppliers to provide a Consumer Confidence Report to customers
United Water officials say the utility has completed several
projects to improve water quality including new aeration towers,
replacement of water filter media and new monitoring equipment.