Meeting the Challenge

Matthew W. Stanley
President,CEO and
Chairman of the Board
Beckley Water Company

Once again we are proud to present our annual drinking water report, covering all drinking water testing performed between January 1 and December 31, 2015. Over the years, we have dedicated ourselves to producing drinking water that meets all state and federal standards. We continually strive to adopt new methods for delivering the best quality drinking water to your homes and businesses. As new challenges to drinking water safety emerge, we remain vigilant in meeting the goals of source water protection, water conservation, and community education while continuing to serve the needs of all of our water users. Please remember that we are always available to assist you, should you ever have any questions or concerns about your water.

Important Health Information

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immunocompromised 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 may be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. The U.S. EPA/ CDC (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 or http://water.epa. gov/drink/hotline.

Questions?

For more information about this report, or for any questions relating to your drinking water, please call Louis Wooten, Engineering, at 304.255.5121, Ext. 113. You can download a copy of this report here.

Substances That Could Be in Water

To ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the U.S. EPA prescribes regulations limiting the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water, which must provide the same protection for public health. Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of these contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk.

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, in some cases, radioactive material, and substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity. Substances that may be present in source water include:

Microbial Contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, or wildlife;

Inorganic Contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally occurring or may result from urban stormwater runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming;

Pesticides and Herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and residential uses;

Organic Chemical Contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production and may also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems;

Radioactive Contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or may be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

For more information about contaminants and potential health effects, call the U.S. EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800.426.4791.

Lead in Home Plumbing

If present, elevated levels of lead 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. We are responsible for providing high-quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. 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. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at www.epa.gov/lead.

Source Water Assessment

The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health (WV BPH) performed a source water assessment of our drinking water sources. The purpose of the assessment was to determine the susceptibility of potential contamination and assign a susceptibility ranking of lower, medium or higher to each of the sources. The intake that supplies drinking water to the Glade Creek Treatment Plant has a higher susceptibility to contamination, due to the sensitive nature of surface water supplies and the potential contaminant sources identified within the area. The ground water supply that provides drinking water to the Sweeneysburg Plant also has a higher susceptibility to contamination, due to the sensitive nature of the aquifer in which the drinking water well is located and the existing potential contaminant sources identified. This does not mean that these water sources will become contaminated, only that conditions are such that they could be impacted by a potential contaminant source. Future contamination may be avoided by implementing protective measures. The Source Water Assessment Report, which includes more detailed information, is available by calling Beckley Water Company or WV BPH at 304.558.2981.

How Is My Water Treated and Purified?

The treatment process consists of a series of steps unique to each plant. At our Glade Creek Plant, raw water is drawn from the Glade Creek Reservoir into an inline mixer where an oxidant and a coagulant are added. Water then goes to the flocculators where the addition of the coagulant causes small particles to adhere to one another (called floc). Water is then sent to the Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) unit, where air under pressure is released into water forming micro bubbles which attach to the floc and float to the surface for removal. Chlorine is then added for disinfection. At our Sweeneysburg Plant, water is drawn from an underground pool and processed through an aeration unit into an inline mixer where an oxidant and chlorine are added. Water then goes to the flocculators where the addition of a polymer creates a floc causing small particles to adhere to one another making them heavy enough to settle into a basin from which sediment is removed. At this point, water at the Glade Plant is filtered through layers of fine coal and silicate sand; water at the Sweeneysburg Plant is filtered through layers of fine coal and greensand. Then at each plant as smaller, suspended particles are removed, turbidity disappears and clear water emerges. Chlorine is added again as a precaution against any bacteria that may still be present. (We carefully monitor the amount of chlorine, adding the lowest quantity necessary to protect the safety of your water without compromising taste.) Finally, caustic soda (used to adjust the final pH), fluoride (used to prevent tooth decay), and orthophosphate (used to protect distribution and residential system pipes) are added before the water is pumped to sanitized, underground reservoirs, water towers, and into your home or business.

Where Does My Water Come From?

Beckley Water Company customers are fortunate because we enjoy an abundant water supply from two sources. The Glade Creek Water Treatment Plant draws surface water from the Glade Creek Reservoir, which holds about 1.3 billion gallons of water. Customers in the area south of Piney Creek receive water solely from the Glade Creek Water Treatment Plant. Our second water source is ground water from an entrapped subterranean pool located about 275 feet below the surface. The Sweeneysburg Water Treatment Plant was constructed in 1993 to draw from this underground water supply. This pool holds about 1 to 1.5 billion or more gallons and is constantly being replenished from various underground sources. Combined, our treatment facilities provide roughly 3.5 billion gallons of clean drinking water every year. Our water supply is part of the Lower New Watershed, which covers an area of roughly 692 square miles around Beckley. Forested lands cover most (98%) of our watershed. To learn more about our watershed on the Internet, go to U.S. EPA’s Surf Your Watershed at www.epa.gov/surf.

Sampling Results

During the past year, we have taken hundreds of water samples to determine the presence of any radioactive, biological, inorganic, volatile organic or synthetic organic contaminants. The table below shows only those contaminants that were detected in the water. The state requires us to monitor for certain substances less than once per year because the concentrations of these substances do not change frequently. In these cases, the most recent sample data are included, along with the year in which the sample was taken.

UCMR3 Results

During the reporting year for 2015 we were required by the US EPA under the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 3 (UCMR3) to collect samples in your drinking water that are suspected to be contaminants but do not have a health base standard set under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The UCMR3 program is the primary source of drinking water contaminant occurrence data used by the EPA in regulatory determinations. Drinking Water Samples found to have contaminants in our system are reported below. These are unregulated contaminants and are used by the EPA to determine future standards if any. The test results are available at our office for your review during regular business hours. The Beckley Water Company routinely monitors for contaminants in your drinking water according to federal and state laws. The tables below show the results of our monitoring for contaminants

Definitions

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

LRAA (Locational Running Annual Average): The average of sample analytical results for samples taken at a particular monitoring location during the previous four calendar quarters. Amount Detected values for TTHMs and HAAs are reported as LRAAs.

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.

MRDL (Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level): 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.

MRDLG (Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal): 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.

MRL: Minimum Reporting Level.

NA: Not applicable

NE: Not established.

NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units): Measurement of the clarity, or turbidity, of water. Turbidity in excess of 5 NTU is just noticeable to the average person.

pCi/L (picocuries per liter): A measure of radioactivity.

ppb (parts per billion): One part substance per billion parts water (or micrograms per liter).

ppm (parts per million): One part substance per million parts water (or milligrams per liter).

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