(Op-Ed: Celebrating National Water)
As the summer heat scorches Southern California, many residents may be cooling off by enjoying a swim in their backyard or community pool, a run through the sprinklers or a refreshing drink of water.
Most of us take our easy and uninterrupted access to water for granted without realizing how water agencies here and across the nation work tirelessly to provide their customers with a reliable supply of safe and clean water each and every day.
August is National Water Quality Month, which is a good time to stop and think about how we are provided safe, clean water whenever we need it, and how we can help protect our water sources.
At Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD), we work hard to ensure our customers always receive high- quality water. Our water comes from several sources, including the Colorado River, the State Water Project and local groundwater. EMWD has state-of-the-art water filtration plants that clean and deliver water to homes and businesses across our 555-square mile service area.
Over the course of the year, our water is rigorously tested and monitored for over 200 potential contaminants or impurities. In 2018 alone, EMWD’s laboratory personnel collected 8,307 water samples and performed 54,124 tests to monitor and ensure water quality.
EMWD provides every one of our customers with an annual Consumer Confidence Report detailing our water sources and showing how we consistently meet or surpass the safe drinking water standards set by the California State Water Resources Board and the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The latest report can also be found at EMWD.org/waterquality.
As part of our continuing commitment to water quality and to increasing local water supplies, EMWD is committed to our multi-faceted Groundwater Reliability Plus initiative. This initiative includes recycling 100 percent of wastewater for landscape and agricultural irrigation as well as commercial uses; a healthy sewers program that helps reduce contaminants in wastewater collections systems; and a desalination program to reduce the salinity in local groundwater basins. EMWD is also evaluating a future water purification project to supplement our local drinking water supply.
You can help us protect our water sources by taking a few easy steps such as disposing of fats, oil and grease by mixing them with absorbent waste materials, throwing personal hygiene products in the trash instead of flushing them, and disposing of medications by putting them in a pharmaceutical or homemade pouch or returning them to a pharmacy. You can find more information at EMWD.org/SewerSmart.
All of these programs and projects help EMWD live up to its mission of delivering value to customers and continuing to foster trust within our communities. EMWD is proud to always provide a safe, sustainable water supply for its customers now and in the future.
Ronald W. Sullivan, Board President Eastern Municipal Water District
Eastern Municipal Water District is the water, wastewater service and recycled water provider to approximately 827,000 people living and working within a 555-square mile service area in western Riverside County. It is California’s sixth-largest retail water agency and its mission is “To deliver value to our customers and the communities we serve by providing safe, reliable, economical and environmentally sustainable water, wastewater and recycled water services.” More information can be found at www.emwd.org.
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