Looking east on College Avenue, showing the State Theater and Moon Jewelry Company, circa 1930s
2008 Water Quality Annual Report
City of Tallahassee
100 YEARS OF SERVING YOU
We’re pleased to present you this year’s Water Quality Annual Report. For 100 years, the City of Tallahassee’s
goal has been to provide you with a safe and dependable supply of drinking water and this year is no different.
Each year, the City mails this report to its customers in response to provisions of the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Act. It is designed to inform you about the quality water and services we deliver to
you every day.
We want you to understand the efforts we make to continually improve the water treatment process and protect
our water resources. We are committed to ensuring the quality of your water. We are pleased to report that
our drinking water not only meets all Federal and State requirements, but it has also been voted the Best Tasting
Drinking Water in the State at this year’s Drinking Water Taste Test, sponsored by the American Water
Also known as the Consumer Confidence Report, this Federally mandated publication describes the source of our
water, lists the results of our tests and contains important information about drinking water and health. In addition,
this year’s report commemorates the Water Utility and our community with a historical perspective of the last
We trust you will find this information useful and hope you will find it equally interesting.
City of Tallahassee Water Works, located at Gaines and Gadsden Streets, circa 1920s
The City Council passed an ordinance on July 11, 1907, declaring that “it is expedient for the City of Tallahassee to
create, construct and put in operation a water works plant.” In July of 1908, the City of Tallahassee purchased the
Tallahassee Water Works.
ENSURING WATER QUALITY
Since 1908, the goal of Tallahassee’s Water Utility has been to be the provider of choice for high quality potable
water; to be the preferred provider of wastewater services, including collection, treatment and reuse; and to
provide these services at an economical cost, on a dependable basis, and in a customer and environmentally
friendly manner by high quality infrastructure and professional employees.
The City of Tallahassee routinely monitors for contaminants in your drinking water according to Federal and State
laws, rules, and regulations. Except where indicated otherwise, this report is based on the results of our monitoring
for the period of January 1 to December 31, 2007. Data obtained before January 1, 2007, and presented in this
report are from the most recent testing done in accordance with the laws, rules, and regulations.
For citizen input, the City of Tallahassee Commission meets regularly on the second and fourth Wednesday of
each month during the year. You can find out more about meetings by calling the Department of Communications
at 891-8533 or visiting the City’s Web site at Talgov.com. For specific questions and information about drinking
water or for a copy of this report, please contact the Manager of the Water Quality Division at 891-1200.
Copies of this report may also be downloaded from the City’s Web site at Talgov.com.
Students stop for a drink of water at the Florida College for Women, circa 1931
History of Y Water Utility
1908 The City of Tallahasse purchases 1923 Tallahassee Water Utility 1939 The oldest well still in 1948 The City requires all new residential 2007 Wastewater Treatment Facility achieves
the Tallahassee Water Works. adds five new wells. production is drilled. construction to include running water. ISO14001:2004 EMS Certification.
1919 The Legislature passes a new City Charter for Tallahassee, 1933 The first elevated tank is constructed at 1988 The City begins 1990 Granulated Activated Carbon 2008 Tallahassee's drinking water
authorizing a Commission-Manager form of government. Lafayette Park and holds 400,000 gallons. fluoridation of water. Filters are installed at the first well. is voted best tasting in the state.
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 that may be present in source water include:
(A) Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic
systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.
(B) Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or result from urban
stormwater runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.
(C) Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater
runoff, and residential uses.
(D) 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.
(E) Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and
In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the EPA prescribes regulations, which limit the amount of certain
contaminants in water provided by public water systems. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations
establish limits for contaminants in bottled water, which must provide the same protection for public health.
Drilled in 1939, the City of Tallahassee’s Well #2 is the oldest still in production, circa 1940s
Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some
WATER WELLS contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. More
Starting with the purchase of the Tallahassee Water Works and drilling its first well, your Water Utility has grown to its current information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection
status of 28 wells located throughout the Tallahassee area. These deep water wells pump an average of 30,000,000 gallons Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
of water per day, across 1,170 miles of water main lines, serving in excess of 170,000 area residents.
AN EXPLANATION OF THE WATER QUALITY DATA TABLE IMMUNO-COMPROMISED PERSONS
The data table contains the names of each substance, the highest level allowed by regulation (MCL), the ideal goals Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population.
Max. Contaminant Level (MCL)
for public health, the amount detected, the usual sources of such contamination, and a key to units of measurements. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who
Maximum contaminant levels (MCL) are set at very stringent levels. To understand the possible health effects have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some
described for many regulated contaminants, a person would have to drink two liters of water every day at the MCL elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about
For systems collecting at least 40 samples per
level for a lifetime to have a one-in-a million chance of having the described health effects. Primary standards are month; presence of coliform bacteria
drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/CDC guidelines on in more appropriate means to lessen
those which directly affect human health. Secondary standards concern the aesthetics of water (color, taste, odor). than 5% of monthly samples
the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbiological contaminants are available from
the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).
DATA TABLE KEY, DEFINITIONS & ABBREVIATIONS
AL Action Level The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers MRDLG Maximum Residual The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is
treatment or other requirements that a water system must follow. Disinfectant Level Goal no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the Contaminant and
benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial Unit of Measurement
IDSE Initial Distribution An important part of the Stage 2 Disinfection Byproducts Rule contaminants.
System Evaluation (DBPR). The IDSE is a one-time study conducted by water
systems to identify distribution system locations with high p Ci/L Picocurie per liter The measure of the radioactivity in water.
concentrations of trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids ND Not Detected Indicates that the substance was not found by laboratory
(HAAs). Water systems will use results from the IDSE, in Naturally present in the environment
conjunction with their Stage 1 DBPR compliance monitoring data,
to select compliance monitoring locations for the Stage 2 DBPR. NE Not Established Indicates that the substance does not have an established level
or contamination source.
MCL Maximum The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking Contaminant and
Contaminant Level water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the ppm Parts per million (ppm) One part by weight of analyte to 1 million parts by weight of Unit of Measurement
best available treatment technology. or Milligrams per the water sample.
MCLG Maximum The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is Corrosion of household plumbing
Contaminant Level no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin ppb Parts per billion (ppb) One part by weight of analyte to 1 billion parts by weight of the systems;erosion of natural deposits;
Goal or Micrograms per water sample. leaching from wood preservatives
MRDL Maximum Residual The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water.
Disinfectant Level There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is Corrosion of household plumbing
systems; erosion of natural deposits
necessary for control of microbial contaminants.
Contaminant and Contaminant and
Unit of Measurement Unit of Measurement
Discharge from petroleum refineries; fire retardants;
ceramics; electronics; solder Erosion of natural deposits
Erosion of natural deposits; runoff from orchards; runoff
from glass and eletronics production wastes
Discharge of drilling wastes: discharge from metal Erosion of natural deposits
refineries; erosion of natural deposits
Discharge from metal refineries and coal-burning factories;
discharge from electrical, aerospace, and defense industries
Corrosion of galvanized pipes; erosion of natrual
deposits; discharge from metal refineries; runoff from Contaminant and
waste batteries and paints Unit of Measurement
Discharge from steel and pulp mills; erosion of natural deposits
Discharge from steel/metal factories; discharge from
plastic and fertilizer factories Discharge from rubber and chemical factories
Erosion of natural deposits; discharge from fertilizer and
aluminum factories. Water additive which promotes strong Volatile Organic Contaminants
teeth when at optimum levels between 0.7 and 1.3 ppm
Residue from man-made pollution such as auto Unit of Measurement
emissions and paint; lead pipe, casing, and solder
Erosion of natural deposits; discharge from refineries
and factories; runoff from landfills; runoff from cropland Discharge from factories and dry cleaners
Pollution from electroplating operations Stage 1 Disinfectants and
Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, Disinfection By-Products
sewage; erosion of natural deposits Disinfectant or Contaminant
Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, and Unit of Measurement
sewage; erosion of natural deposits
Discharge from petroleum and metal refineries; erosion Water additive used to control microbes
of natural deposits; discharge from mines
Salt water intrusion; leaching from soil By-product of drinking water disinfection
Leaching from ore-processing sites; discharge from
electronics, glass, and drug factories By-product of drinking water disinfection
We can all do our part to preserve our valuable drinking water source – the Floridan Aquifer. By taking a few
simple steps, we can reduce our water consumption significantly.
Typically, outdoor water use accounts for about 50 percent of water consumed by households. Remember to
water lawns and gardens early in the morning and soak them thoroughly to encourage deep root growth. Reduce
the amount of grassy areas that require extensive irrigation and use mulch, which retains moisture, as an alternative
to grass. Also water only when necessary, such as when grass doesn’t spring back when stepped on. Using
sprinklers for grass and drip irrigation for trees, shrubs, flowers and ground cover promotes further efficiency.
WATER SAVINGS TIPS
• Don’t run the hose while washing your car. By using a bucket of water and a quick hose rinse at the end, you’ll
save 150 gallons each time you wash your car!
• We’re more likely to notice leaky faucets indoors, but don’t forget to check outdoor faucets, pipes and hoses
for leaks. A pinhole-sized leak in a hose can waste as much as 170 gallons of water per day!
• Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and save four gallons a minute. That’s 200 gallons a week for a
family of four.
Educational programs encourage water conservation, Leon High School circa 1960s
• By shortening your shower by just one or two minutes, an average family of four can save as much as 700
COMMUNITY AND SCHOOL-BASED EDUCATION gallons per month!
To promote environmental stewardship and natural resource protection, your Water Utility offers a comprehensive outreach These simple measures, combined with other water-saving techniques, will protect our precious resources for the
and education program. Residents of all ages can learn about water topics of local importance in a variety of ways. Current future. For more information, please visit the City’s Web site at Talgov.com or call 891-4YOU (4968).
offerings include: presentations at schools, homeowners’ meetings and other venues; water and wastewater facility tours; and
the City’ H2Oh! Water and Wastewater curriculm guide and supply kits, designed for upper elementary and lower middle
school students. For more information or to schedule a tour, please call 891-6106.
PROTECTING OUR RESOURCES
The Floridan Aquifer – Tallahassee is situated over one of the largest and cleanest sources of ground water in the
world – the Floridan Aquifer. The Floridan Aquifer underlies all of Florida and parts of Alabama, Georgia and South
Carolina. Our water supply comes from 28 deep wells drilled into the aquifer and operated by the City Water Utility.
As the water is pumped from the wells to the distribution system, chlorine is added for disinfection and fluoride for dental
health. At a few central Tallahassee wells, water is passed through Granulated Activated Carbon filter units to remove
certain chemicals found in the aquifer in those locations.
Protection Programs – In 2006, the Department of Environmental Protection performed a Source Water Assessment
on our system. The assessment was conducted to provide information about any potential sources of contamination
in the vicinity of our wells. There are 111 potential sources of contamination identified for this system with low to high
susceptibility levels. However, the City’s Water Utility has been at the forefront of innovative protection activities for many
years. In1992, we were one of the first municipalities in the Southeast to institute a countywide Aquifer Protection Program
and code, which assists businesses with proper management and disposal of chemicals and wastes. This helps ensure
that potential pollutants are not discarded into the environment. Every year inspectors with our program assist hundreds of
businesses, and the code continues to serve as a model for other municipalities.
More recently, the Water Utility has taken a further step in protecting our environment and has embraced a voluntary
Swimmers enjoying Wakulla Springs, 1954
international standard known as an Environmental Management System, or EMS. An EMS provides a structured approach to
manage a full range of activities to improve environmental performance. An EMS also helps identify more efficient ways to
ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP operate and reduce unnecessary risks, environmental impacts and costs. In 2007, the Utility celebrated the certification of
The City of Tallahassee has a longstanding commitment to protecting our environment. In fact, the Florida Department of its wastewater treatment functions to the ISO 14001:2004 standard. This certification recognizes facilities that voluntarily
Environmental Protection (FDEP) has awarded the City the 1st place award for Superior Accomplishment in Environmental reach the highest international standard of environmental protection. Currently, the Utility is working to implement an EMS for
Stewardship in three of the last four years. Our commitment is necessary given the water resources that lie just underneath its Water Quality and Water Distribution operations, with certification expected in 2009. For more information, visit
us in the aquifer. The future of our drinking water depends on all of us and we must recognize our daily activities have a Talgov.com. The assessment results are available on the FDEP Source Water Assessment and Protection Program Web site
great impact on the area’ ecosystem.
s at www.dep.state.fl.us/swapp, or they can be obtained by contacting the Water Quality Division at 891-1200.
100 YEARS. . . AND COUNTING
This year the City of Tallahassee Water Utility commemorates its 100th year anniversary, and what better way to
celebrate than by winning the 2008, Statewide Best Tasting Drinking Water contest.
Earning the “best” of anything is always rewarding, but it is especially gratifying when you’ve worked as long and
as hard as we have. Over the years, the City’s Water Utility has been deeply committed to providing the cleanest
and best tasting water possible, while also taking every step possible to protect our environment. From innovative
technology to award-winning facilities, the City has been, and remains, a national leader in the water industry.
And, in this 100th year, our innovation and dedication to clean water and environmental stewardship continues. The
$4.6 million state-of-the-art, water recycling plant known as the Tram Road Reuse Facility (TRRF) will conserve our
drinking water supply by providing recycled water for irrigation. In addition the $200 million plan to implement
advanced wastewater treatment at the T.P. Smith Water Reclamation Facility will reduce nitrogen released into
the environment. By adopting such ground-breaking approaches, the City continues its efforts to protect area
groundwater and natural resources, such as Wakulla Springs.
Our commitment is particularly critical given the pristine and dependable source of drinking water that runs
directly underneath us, the Floridan Aquifer. Using water wisely and conserving for future generations has become
increasingly crucial. We don’t have to look far to notice the water challenges faced by other communities –
especially during drought conditions. That’s why, in addition to the new capital projects, we also will emphasize
the need to reduce water consumption and protect the environment for generations to come.
By working together and making prudent decisions and investments today, we hope to provide you the “best”
The Best Tasting Water in the State! drinking water in the State for another 100 years.
AWARD WINNING Mike Tadros
General Manager Underground Utilities
In April of this year The City of Tallahassee won the title of Best Tasting Water in the State at the 6th Annual Drinking Water
Taste Test, sponsored by the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association.
City of Tallahassee Water Utility
3805-A Springhill Rd.
Tallahassee, FL 32305