Water Quality Report 2015

We are pleased to present to our customers our annual Water Quality Report for 2015, which documents our water supply continues to meet state and federal regulations. Both English and Spanish versions can be downloaded at the links below. If you would like a hard copy of either version, please contact the District office, and we will be happy to mail you one. This page can be translated into multiple languages. Click on the Google Translate button, choose the language, and click Translate. If you have any questions, please contact us at 503-665-4179.

WATER QUALITY REPORT 2015

Cleveland Reservoir and Pump Station

Cleveland Reservoir and Pump Station

We are proud that we consistently fulfill our Mission Statement: To strive for total customer satisfaction by providing the safest and highest quality water at the most responsible cost; and to professionally manage Rockwood Water to assure its financial health for the ongoing protection of our customers.

We take seriously our responsibility to ensure the public health by doing everything we can to deliver water of the highest quality without interruption. For that reason we constantly sample and test for contamination; flush our distribution system; protect our source water; maintain, repair and replace our infrastructure.

We practice due diligence of our water system 24/7 on behalf of you, our customers. When you access our website to review the Water Quality Report, please take a minute to explore the site and learn what we are doing not only to protect water quality, but also to ensure the continuous availability and supply of affordable water…from conservation to customer assistance to leak detection to education to community involvement to economic development to District operations.

There is much going on at Rockwood Water and we would like you to know that. If you have any questions about the Water Quality Report or the District, please contact us at 503-665-4179 or email customerservice@rwpud.org.

Drinking Water Sources and Protection

The Bull Run Watershed is our primary source of drinking water. The watershed, located in a protected area of the Mt. Hood National Forest, is managed by the Portland Water Bureau. Bull Run complies with all applicable state and federal regulations for source water, including the 1989 Surface Water Treatment Rule filtration-avoidance criteria. The Portland Water Bureau is also operating under a variance for the treatment requirements for Cryptosporidium. The Bull Run Source Water Assessment Report is available at www.portlandoregon.gov/water/sourcewaterassessment and by calling 503-823-7525.

The Columbia South Shore Well Field is owned by the Portland Water Bureau and is used on occasion as a back-up to Bull Run. Groundwater from these wells comes from three different aquifers. Portland actively protects its well field to prevent groundwater pollution. The City of Gresham is a partner in the protection of Portland’s wells. To learn more about Portland’s protection program go to www.portlandoregon.gov/water/groundwater or call
503-823-7473.

The Cascade Well Field is jointly developed by Rockwood Water People’s Utility District and the City of Gresham. The District began using water from the Cascade wells in 2004, primarily during the summer months as a supplement to Bull Run water. Groundwater from the Cascade wells is from the Sand and Gravel Aquifer. For information about water from the Cascade wells, please contact Rockwood Water People’s Utility District at 503-665-4179.

Groundwater Protection. The Cascade Well Field Protection Program is managed by the City of Gresham and supported by the District. We work with businesses and the community to keep pollutants out of groundwater. Prevention is the key. Look for opportunities to use non-hazardous products at home and at work. Green products are less likely to pollute the environment, including water for drinking, and some even cost less. If you would like more information about the Well Field Protection Program, contact the City of Gresham at 503-618-2525.

Contaminants Detected in 2015

Regulated Contaminant
Minimum Detected
Maximum Detected
Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), Treatment Technique or Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL)
Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) or Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG)
Sources of Contaminant
Untreated Source Water from Bull Run Watershed
Turbidity 0.20 NTU 2.99 NTU Cannot exceed 5 NTU more than 2 times in 12 months Not applicable Erosion of natural deposits
Fecal Coliform Bacteria Not detected 100% of samples had 20 or fewer bacterial colonies per 100 milliliters of water (1sample had 9 bacterial colonies per 100 milliliters) At least 90% of samples measured during the previous six months must have 20 or fewer bcterial colonies per 100 milliliters of water Not applicable Animal wastes
Treated Drinking Water from Bull Run Watershed, South Shore Well, and Cascade Wells to the Distribution System
Nutrients
Nitrate Nitrogen less than 0.02 parts per million 0.22 parts per million 10 parts per million 10 parts per million Found in natural aquifer deposits; animal wastes
Metals and Minerals
Arsenic less than 0.50 parts per billion .87 parts per billion 10 parts per billion 0 parts per billion Found in natural deposits
Barium 0.00081 parts per million 0.0684 parts per million 2 parts per million 2 parts per million Found in natural deposits
Chromium (total)1/ less than 0.5 parts per billion 0.2 parts per billion 100 parts per billion 100 parts per billion Found in natural deposits
Copper less than 0.00050 parts per million 0.00116 parts per million Not applicable 1.3 parts per million Found in natural deposits
Fluoride less than 0.025 parts per million 0.15 parts per million 4 parts per million 4 parts per million Found in natural deposits
Lead less than 0.05 parts per billion 0.25 parts per billion Not applicable 0 parts per billion Found in natural deposits
1/ During the year, tests with varying method reporting limits (MRLs) were used to analyze chromium. The sample with a result of less than 0.50 ppb was analyzed by a test with a less sensitive MRL and is why the minimum appears to be greater than the maximum.
Blend of Bull Run and Cascade Well Field
Gross Alpha Emitters Excluding Radon and Uranium *2.1 picocuries per liter *2.1 picocuries per liter 15 picocuries per liter 0 picocuries per liter From man-made sources and natural deposits
Treated Drinking Water from Points Throughout the Distribution System of Reservoirs, Tanks, and Main Water Pipes – Rockwood
Microbiological Contaminants
Total Coliform Bacteria 1.43% of samples in March (1 our of 1) had detectable coliform bacteria Must not detect coliform bacteria in more than 5.0% of monthly samples with detectable bacteria 0 samples with detectable coliform bacteria Found throughout the environment
Disinfection Byproducts
Total Trihalomethanes
Running Annual Average at Any One Site 31 parts per billion 36 parts per billion 80 parts per billion Not applicable Byproduct of drinking water disinfection
Single Result at Any One Site 19 parts per billion 55 parts per billion Not applicable Not applicable Byproduct of drinking water disinfection
Haloacetic Acids
Running Annual Average at Any One Site 30 parts per billion 36 parts per billion 60 parts per billion Not applicable Byproduct of drinking water disinfection
Single Result at Any One Site .016 parts per million .054 parts per million Not applicable Not applicable Byproduct of drinking water disinfection
Disinfectant Residual
Total Chlorine Residual .060 parts per million 2.9 parts per million 4 parts per million 4 parts per million Chlorine and ammonia are used to disinfect water
Unregulated Contaminants Detected in 2015
Contaminant
Minimum Detected
Average Detected
Maximum Amount Detected
Sources of Contaminant
Sodium 3.35 parts per million 6.55 parts per million 15.5 parts per million Found in natural deposits
Radon less than 16 picocuries per liter 202 picocuries per liter 370 picocuries per liter Found in natural deposits
See Notes on Contaminants below.
*Tested in 2011. The District is required to test for Gross Alpha every 6 years.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DRINKING WATER
Availability of Monitoring Data for Unregulated Contaminants for Rockwood Water People’s Utility District

Our water system has sampled for a series of over 28 unregulated contaminants. Unregulated contaminants are those that don’t yet have a drinking water standard set by the EPA. The purpose of monitoring for these contaminants is to help the EPA decide whether the contaminants should have a standard. As our customers, you have the right to know that these data are available. If you are interested in examining the results, please contact our Water Quality Representative at (503) 665-4179 or by mailing to: Water Quality, 19601 NE Halsey St., Portland, Oregon 97230. The table below includes only the detected contaminants in Rockwood drinking water.

Contaminant
Minimum Detected
Maximum Detected
Minimum Reporting Level
Sources of Contaminant
Chlorate less than 20 parts per billion 50 parts per billion 20 parts per billion Found throughout the environment
Chromium-6 less than .03 parts per billion 0.53 parts per billion .03 parts per billion Found throughout the environment
Strontium 10 parts per billion 26 parts per billion .3 parts per billion Found throughout the environment
Vanadium less than .2 parts per billion .3 parts per billion .2 parts per billion Found throughout the environment

Notes on Contaminants

Turbidity – Bull Run is an unfiltered surface water supply. The rules for public water systems have strict standards for unfiltered surface water supplies. Turbidity levels in unfiltered water must not exceed 5 NTU (nephelometric turbidity units) more than two times in a twelve-month period. The typical cause of turbidity is sediment suspended in the water. The sediment can interfere with disinfection and provide an environment for microbial growth. Large storm events can result in increased turbidity, causing the Portland Water Bureau to shut down the Bull Run system and serve water from the Columbia South Shore Well Field.

Fecal Coliform Bacteria – The presence of fecal coliform bacteria in source water indicates that water may be contaminated with animal wastes. Chlorine is used to kill these bacteria.

Nitrate/Nitrogen – Nitrate, measured as nitrogen, can support microbial growth (bacteria and algae). Nitrate levels exceeding the standards can contribute to health problems. At the levels found in Rockwood Water PUD’s drinking water, Nitrate is unlikely to contribute to adverse health effects.

Arsenic, Barium, Chromium (total), Copper, Fluoride and Lead – These metals are elements found in the earth’s crust. They can dissolve into water that is in contact with natural deposits. At the levels found in Rockwood Water PUD’s drinking water, they are unlikely to contribute to adverse health effects. There is no maximum contaminant level (MCL) for copper and lead at the entry point to the distribution system. Copper and lead are regulated at customers’ taps. For more information, see Reducing Exposure to Lead below.

Total Coliform Bacteria – Coliforms are bacteria that are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other potentially-harmful bacteria may be present. Rockwood Water PUD uses chlorine to kill these bacteria.

Total Chlorine Residual – Total chlorine residual is a measure of free chlorine and combined chlorine and ammonia in our distribution system. Chlorine residual is necessary to maintain disinfection throughout the distribution system. Adding ammonia to chlorine results in a more stable disinfectant and helps to minimize the formation of disinfection byproducts.

Disinfection Byproducts – During disinfection, certain byproducts form as a result of chemical reactions between chlorine and naturally occurring organic matter in the water. These byproducts can have negative health effects. Trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids are regulated disinfection byproducts that have been detected in the District’s water. The disinfection process is carefully controlled to keep byproduct levels low.

Radon – Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that cannot be seen, tasted or smelled. Radon was detected at very low levels in the Bull Run water supply. It was also detected at very low levels in Portland’s groundwater supply. For information about radon, call the EPA’s Radon Hotline (800-SOS-RADON) or www.epa.gov/radon/rnwater.html.

Sodium – There is currently no drinking water standard for sodium. Sodium is an essential nutrient. At the levels found in drinking water, it is unlikely to contribute to adverse health effects.

Definitions

Action Level or AL
The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.

Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL)
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.

Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG)
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.

Minimum Reporting Level
The minimum reporting level set by the EPA for an unregulated contaminant.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL)
The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG)
The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.

Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU)
The unit of measurement of turbidity or cloudiness in water as measured by the amount of light passing through a sample.

Part Per Million (ppm)
One part per million corresponds to one penny in $10,000 or approximately one minute in two years. One part per million is equal to 1,000 parts per billion.

Part Per Billion (ppb)
One part per billion corresponds to one penny in $10,000,000 or approximately one minute in 2,000 years.

Picocuries Per Liter
Picocurie is a measurement of radioactivity. One Picocurie is one trillion times smaller than one curie.

Treatment Technique or TT
A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

REDUCING EXPOSURE TO LEAD

Lead is commonly found in a variety of places throughout our environment.  While lead is rarely found in our source waters, and we have removed all known lead service connections from our distribution system, lead can be found in some homes.  Lead can enter drinking water from the corrosion (wearing away) of household plumbing materials containing lead.  These materials include lead-based solder, used to join copper pipe commonly used in homes built or plumbed between 1970 and 1985, and brass components and faucets.  Lead in household plumbing can dissolve into drinking water when water sits in those pipes for several hours, such as overnight or after returning from work of school.

If present, Lead at elevated levels can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. The District is responsible for providing high-quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components in homes or buildings. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking.  Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the LeadLine, 503-988-4000, www.leadline.org or the Safe Drinking Water Hotline 800-426-4791, www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.  The most common sources of lead exposure are lead-based paint, household dust, soil, and plumbing materials.  Lead is also found in other objects such as toys, cosmetics, and pottery.

Lead and Copper Sampling at High-Risk Residential Water Taps

Regulated Contaminant
90th Percentile Values
Number of Sites Exceeding the Action Level
Lead and Copper Rule Exceedance
Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG)
Source of Contaminant
Copper 0.34 parts per million 0% of samples (0 of 114) exceeded the copper action level of 1.3 parts per million. More than 10% of the homes tested have copper levels greater than 1.3 parts per million. 1.3 parts per million Corrosion of household and commercial building plumbing systems
Lead 14 parts per million 9.7% of samples (11 of 114) exceeded the lead action level of 15 parts per billion. More than 10% of the homes tested have lead levels greater than 15 parts per billion. 0 parts per billion Corrosion of household and commercial building plumbing systems

WHAT THE EPA SAYS ABOUT DRINKING WATER CONTAMINANTS

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 water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 or at www.epa.gov/safewater.

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 activity.

CONTAMINANTS IN DRINKING WATER SOURCES MAY INCLUDE:

  • Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from wildlife or septic systems.
  • Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can occur naturally or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges or farming.
  • Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources, such as farming, urban storm water runoff and home or business use.
  • Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are byproducts of industrial processes, and can also come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff and septic systems.
  • Radioactive contaminants, which can occur naturally.

In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the EPA has regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems and requires monitoring for these contaminants. Food and Drug Administration regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water, which must provide the same protection for public health.

SPECIAL NOTICE FOR IMMUNO-COMPROMISED PERSONS

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. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Rockwood Water People’s Utility District provides a variety of public information, public involvement and community outreach opportunities.  If you have questions about the District’s programs, public meetings, or capital projects, please contact the District at 503-665-4179 or visit www.rwpud.org to learn more.