Water Quality Report Issued
By Karen A. Grava
The University's water supply continues to meet both U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state Department of Public Health standards, according to a report issued recently.
"We are very proud that our water supply remains of very high quality," said Michael Pascucilla, sanitarian.
The water, supplied to the main and Depot campuses and to a number of adjacent private residences, apartments, and commercial and town government facilities, is tested regularly for various contaminants. The water comes from both the Willimantic and Fenton wellfields.
The University is required to test for 83 registered contaminants. In a few cases, trace amounts of inorganic contaminants were found. However, they are at levels far below what the EPA calls the "maximum contaminant level". For example, trace levels of nitrate, typically a runoff from fertilizer use or the erosion of natural deposits were found, but the level at .3 parts per million was far below the maximum permitted contaminant level of 10.
Likewise, findings of radioactive contaminants, which are the result of erosion of natural deposits, at .57 picoCuries per liter are considerably below the allowed level of 15. And the finding of trihalomethanes, a by-product of drinking water chlorination , was found to be at four parts per billion, considerably less than the 100 parts per billion allowed.
Routine tests done in October 2001 did show total coliform bacteria in three out of 24 samples that were tested on the main campus. Total coliform is a common bacteria that can appear randomly in both public and private water supply systems. It is not harmful to health, but can be an indicator of a problem. The lines were flushed and retesting showed no total coliform bacteria.
The water supply for the main campus is treated with chlorine, fluoride and adjusted for acidity. Water distributed to the Depot campus and homes along Route 32 is not treated with fluoride.
The complete report is available at www.uconn.edu/index/water.