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County water meets all quality standards
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Forsyth County News

Forsyth County’s tap water has again met all federal and state quality standards in 2011.

The annual report, which customers will soon receive with their monthly bill, shows the results of tests performed throughout the year for contaminants.

“Our water quality test data shows that we’ve got good quality water,” said John Marshall, plant manager. “I’m very comfortable with these numbers.”

The 10 contaminants analyzed on the table, which the Environmental Protection Agency requires be sent to customers, all posted levels well below the maximum allowed.

As required by the EPA, the county conducts more than 1,300 tests at the tap each year, as well as “countless” tests at its treatment plant, Marshall said.

He expressed pride in the water not having any detectable coliform bacteria. That bacteria and turbidity, or soil runoff, can be controlled at the plant, he said.

Other particles included in the data table as regulated substances include nitrates, fluoride and total trihalomethanes, which are a byproduct of chlorination.

The state requires fluoride be added to the water. In small amounts, it provides benefits to teeth health, said Tim Perkins, the county’s director of water and sewer.

Perkins said Forsyth’s commitment to its facilities and the sources of the water contribute to the quality.

Most of the county’s water comes from Lake Lanier, which is a good source because it’s not a flowing river “with a lot of sediment stirring up,” he said.

“Then, the county has invested in top-of-the-line processes and equipment,” Perkins said. “Our treatment facility is state of the art, and we used ozone for the disinfection. It’s a little bit superior to chlorine in several ways.”

Perkins said the county has consistently produced good test results for water quality.

The county’s new treatment facility, expected to open in July, will use membrane technology, which he said will provide “a better filter for particulates that are in the water.”

Though the required notice covers only contaminants that are the most common or important to notify customers about, the EPA requires testing for more than 100 substances.

A detailed listing is available upon request.