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Contaminants that may be present include: Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, that may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife; inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or 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 can also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems; and radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally-occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities. In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health.
In any event, neither side can deny the fact that only a small percentage of the total amount of water produced is actually consumed. In residential use alone, the vast majority of water is used for irrigation, laundry, washing dishes, personal hygiene, flushing toilets, etc. The philosophy of the Pocatello Water Department is that the tremendous equipment expense and maintenance costs do not justify a system-wide fluoridation program to provide treatment that only benefits a small segment of its water consumers.
For a list of state certified laboratories, contact the State of Idaho Department of Environmental Quality at (208) 236-6160.
It is virtually impossible to flush off all of the sediment and if you open your taps during or immediately following an event in your neighborhood, you may notice that your water has a dirty appearance because the suspended particles have not had time to settle. Turn on a cold water tap and let the water run for several minutes to flush off your water lines. If you inadvertently run your hot water before discovering the problem, you may want to flush your hot water tank by opening the valve at the bottom of the tank.
We apologize for any inconvenience caused by our flushing program. If after running your cold water a few minutes does not result in clean water, please contact the Water Department Repair Shop at 234-6182.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a home water treatment unit can improve water's taste, or provide an extra margin of safety for people more vulnerable to the effects of waterborne illness. Consumers who choose to purchase a home water treatment unit should carefully read its product information to understand what they are buying, whether it is for better taste or a certain method of treatment. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for operation and maintenance - it is especially important to change the filter on a regular basis.
For more information download the EPA booklet: Filtration Facts. EPA neither endorses nor recommends specific home water treatment units. EPA does register units that make germ-killing claims.
Idaho Department of Environmental QualityEPA's Office of Ground Water and Drinking WaterEPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline (or call 1-800-426-4791)EPA's citizen's guide to drinking water called Water on Tap: What You Need To KnowAmerican Water Works AssociationPortneuf Ground Water Guardian