We are pleased to present to you the 2004 Annual Water Quality Report (WQR).
Our constant goal is to provide you with a safe and dependable supply of drinking
water. We want you to understand the efforts we make to continually improve
the water treatment process and protect our water resources. This report shows
our water quality results and what they mean. Our water source is surface water
drawn from Clear Lake, Grassy Waters Preserve, and Lake Okeechobee.
Our mission at the City of West Palm Beach Public Utilities is to:
• Develop a long-range strategic plan to meet future infrastructure and service
needs for community growth, development and expansions;
• Enhance public awareness of environmental surroundings;
• Provide responsive, courteous and quality service in order to achieve customer
satisfaction and improve the quality of life for the citizens of West Palm Beach.
Where does our water come from?
The City of West Palm Beach uses surface water from Clear Lake. Water travels from
Lake Okeechobee through the L-8 Canal and M-Canal to the Grassy Waters Preserve.
The Preserve is 19 square miles of protected wetlands, which is located west of the City.
From the preserve the water travels to Lake Mangonia then through a small channel to
Clear Lake. The water treatment plant also maintains ten wells as standby water supply.
The wells supply ground water from the aquifer and are operational when water in Clear
Lake is reduced below a point predetermined by our permit.
How do contaminants get into our water?
The sources of drinking water (both at the faucet 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 can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or
Contaminants that may be present in source water include:
Microbiological contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come
from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations
Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally occur-
ring or result from urban stormwater runoff and industrial or domestic waste-
Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as
agricultural, urban stormwater runoff and residential uses.
Organic Chemicals, which are by products from industrial processes and petrole-
um production and can also come from gas stations urban stormwater runoff and
Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring in some groundwater.
How is our water treated?
The City of West Palm Beach Public Utilities
Department operates one water treatment plant facility
located at Banyan Boulevard. The facility is staffed
twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week by state
licensed water plant operators. The water treatment
plant, physically and chemically treats raw surface water
to produce potable water which meets or exceeds standards
of the Safe Drinking Water Act. The water treatment
• Lime Softening - reduces hardness and color.
• Powered activated carbon - reduces unpleasant tastes and odors.
• Mixing - blends chemical additives uniformly using rapid mix chambers.
• Flocculation/Settling - removes dirt, microbes, and contaminants by allowing the “floc”
particles produced by mixing to settle.
• Filtration - removes fine particles by passing the water through layers of anthracite and sand.
• Fluoridation - prevents tooth decay.
• Chloramination - provides a disinfection residual, which controls microbial growth by
adding a combination of chlorine and ammonia.
The Public Utilities Department is continually upgrading its facility to utilize the most
effective and up-to-date technologies in water treatment.
Daily water samples are analyzed by certified operators, laboratory technicians,
chemists and certified independent laboratories. Test results are forwarded to the
Palm Beach County Health Department for review. More than 50,000 analyses are
conducted each year to assure the safety and reliability of our drinking water.
How safe is our water?
This report is provided to inform our customers about sub-
stances that may be found in City of West Palm Beach's (City)
drinking water. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
has established levels for these contaminants and requires
that we communicate this information to you on an annual
basis. The charts on the following pages show the levels reg-
ulated by EPA, local levels, and highest levels found in water.
Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be
expected to contain at least small amounts of some contami-
nants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily
indicate that water poses a health risk. Some people may be
more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the
general population, such as Immuno-compromised individu-
als, which may include cancer patients undergoing
chemotherapy, organ transplant recipients, HIV/AIDS or
other immune system disorders. These people should seek
advice about drinking water from their healthcare providers.
EPA guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of
infection by Cryptosporidium, other microbial contaminants,
and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the
Environmental Protection Agency's Safe Drinking Water
Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
We are required to test our source of drinking water for the
presence of Cryptosporidium, which is sometimes present in
lakes and canals. We test for this contaminant quarterly in
both source water and treated water. We are happy to inform
you that no Cryptosporidium o-cyst were found in our source
or treated water in 2004.
Is this all that the City tests?
To assure the safety of our drinking water we also monitor the source water for non-
volatile and volatile organic compounds, synthetic organic compounds, metals, unregulat-
ed contaminants, and microbiological organisms. Most of the results show that contami-
nants are not present in our drinking water, but there are some exceptions. The following
tables list the contaminants that were found in the City of West Palm Beach's drinking
water. Most samples were taken at the treatment plant at a point just before the water
enters our distribution system, but coliform bacteria, trihalomethane, haloacetic acid, lead
and copper compliance samples were taken from either customer taps or sampling points
located throughout our distribution system. These detected contaminants meet or exceed
How can we get involved?
The City of West Palm Beach welcomes your questions and ideas. If you would like to
find out more about your water treatment facility, contact us at 561-822-2271 or see us on
the City website at www.wpb.org.
2004 WATER QUALITY TEST RESULTS TABLE
CONTAMINANTS AND VIOLATION LEVEL LIKELY SOURCE OF
SAMPLING RANGE MCLG MCL
UNIT OF MEASUREMENT YES/NO DETECTED CONTAMINATION
Discharge from petroleum
ANTIMONY (ppb) June 2004 NO 3.6 N/A 6 6 refineries; fire retardants; ceramics;
Erosion of natural deposits; runoff
ARSENIC (ppb) June 2004 NO 1.7 N/A N/A 50 from orchards; runoff from glass
and electronics production wastes
Discharge of drilling wastes;
BARIUM (ppm) June 2004 NO 0.11 N/A 2 2 discharge from metal refineries;
erosion of natural deposits
Discharge from steel and pulp
CHROMIUM (ppb) June 2004 NO 1.4 N/A 100 100
mills; erosion of natural deposits
Erosion of natural deposits; water
NO 0.62 N/A 4 4 additive which promotes strong
FLUORIDE (ppm) June 2004 teeth; discharge from fertilizer and
Erosion of natural deposits;
NO 0.07 2 2 discharge from refineries and
MERCURY (inorganic) (ppb) June 2004 N/A
factories; runoff from landfills;
runoff from cropland
Pollution from mining and
NICKEL (ppb) June 2004 NO 0.2 N/A N/A 100 refining operations. Natural
occurrence in soil
Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching
NITRATE (as NITROGEN) (ppm) June 2004 NO 0.048 N/A 10 10 from septic tanks, sewage;erosion
of natural deposits
Discharge from petroleum and
SELENIUM (ppb) June 2004 NO 3.1 N/A 50 50 metal refineries; erosion of natural
deposits; discharge from mines
Salt water intrusion, leaching
SODIUM (ppm) June 2004 NO 34 N/A N/A 160 from soil
SYNTHETIC ORGANIC CONTAMINANTS - INLCUDING PESTICIDES AND HERBICIDES
ATRAZINE (ppb) 06/04 - 11/04 NO 0.21 ND - 0.21 3 3 Run off from herbicide used
DATES OF MCL HIGHEST
CONTAMINANTS AND VIOLATION MONTHLY LIKELY SOURCE OF
SAMPLING RANGE MCLG MCL
UNIT OF MEASUREMENT YES/NO AVERAGE** CONTAMINATION
Stage 1 Disinfectant / Disinfection By-Product (D/DBP) Parameter
NO 20.3 17.8 - 26.4 N/A 80 By product of drinking
TRIHALOMETHANES (THM) (ppb) * 02/04 - 12/04
By product of drinking
HALOACETIC ACID (HAA5) (ppb) * 02/04 - 12/04 NO 15.2 7.4 - 26.4 N/A 60 water disinfection
0.2 - 4.9 By product of drinking
CHLORAMINES (ppm) 02/04 - 12/04 NO 2.9 3 samples out 4.0 4.0
of 16 exceeded MCL water disinfection
* Monitoring requirements for 1st quarter sampling were not followed by only sampling at one point and not the required four
(no impact to water quality observed). Proper monitoring is currently taking place.
** Four sample set collected in distribution system
2004 WATER QUALITY TEST RESULTS TABLE (continued)
DATES OF TT AVERAGE TT
CONTAMINANTS AND MONTHLY LIKELY SOURCE OF
SAMPLING VIOLATION MONTHLY REMOVAL
UNIT OF MEASUREMENT REMOVAL CONTAMINATION
(MO./YR) YES/NO REMOVAL RATIO
TOTAL ORGANIC CARBON
Naturally present in the
environment. Total Organic
>1 Carbon (TOC) has no health effects.
TOTAL ORGANIC CARBON (RATIO) 01/04 - 12/04 NO 1.1 0.99* - 1.3 _
The Water Plant is following EPA
requirements to meet disinfection
by product removal.
* March 2004 value was 0.99, which is slightly below the 1.00 required removal ratio.
Careful monitoring procedures are in place to prevent another occurance. Annual average meets specification.
DATES OF AL 90TH SAMPLING AL
CONTAMINANTS AND (ACTION LIKELY SOURCE OF
SAMPLING VIOLATION PERCENTILE SITES MCLG
UNIT OF MEASUREMENT LEVEL) CONTAMINATION
(MO./YR) YES/NO RESULT EXCEEDING
LEAD AND COPPER TAP
Corrosion of household plumbing
NO ND 5 out of 100 0 15 systems, erosion of natural
LEAD (ppb) (Tap Water) 06/04 - 10/04 deposits; leaching from wood
Corrosion of household plumbing
NO 0.17 0 out of 100 1.3 1.3 systems, erosion of natural
COPPER (ppm) (Tap Water) 06/04 - 10/04 deposits; leaching from wood
DATES OF HIGHEST
MCL LIKELY SOURCE OF
CONTAMINANTS AND SAMPLING MONTHLY MCLG MCL
UNIT OF MEASUREMENT (MO./YR) PERCENTAGE/
No more than
NO 2.2% 0 5% of monthly Naturally present in the
TOTAL COLIFORM BACTERIA 01/04 - 12/04
samples w/ environment
FECAL COLIFORM AND E. COLI 01/04 - 12/04 NO 0 0 0 Human and animal fecal waste
THE THE LOWESTMONTHLY
DATES OF HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF SAMPLES LIKELY SOURCE OF
CONTAMINANTS AND MCLG MCL
SAMPLING SINGLE MEETING REGULATORY CONTAMINATION
UNIT OF MEASUREMENT
(MO./YR) MEASUREMENT LIMITS
TURBIDITY (NTU) 01/04 - 12/04 0.38 97% N/A TT Soil Runoff
I M P O R TA N T D E F I N I T I O N S
AL- Action Level: The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers requirements that a water system must follow.
MCL - 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, using the best available treatment technology.
MCLG - Maximum Contaminant Level Goal: 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.
PPB - Parts Per Billion - Approximately one part by weight of analyte to 1 billion parts by weight of the water sample.
PPM - Parts Per Million - Approximately one part by weight of analyte to 1 million parts by weight of the water sample.
NTU - Nephelometric Turbidity Units - measure the clarity of the water. Turbidity in excess of 5 NTU is just noticeable to the average person.
ND - Not Detected - The concentration of the parameter is too low to be detected by EPA approved laboratory method.
TT - Treatment Technique - A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.
Note - The 2003 WQR originally was issued with the wrong results for Atrazine and TOC. The THMs and HAA5 were not reported with the required number of sample
points. The WQR was corrected with the appropriate results and a new copy was distributed on June 22, 2004. THMs and HAA5 as stated above are currently being
monitored using four sample points per quarter and have remained within specifications.
City of West Palm Beach Leadership
Lois J. Frankel
Board of Commisioners
Raymond A. Liberti, President
James L. Exline
Isaac Robinson Jr.
Director of Public Utilities
Kenneth Rearden, P.E.
City of West Palm Beach
Public Utilities Department
Water Treatment Facility
P.O. Box 3483
West Palm Beach, FL 33402
West Palm Beach FL
Permit No. 4275