News

Drink Up Pensacola-ECUA Water is Safe, Clean and Tastes Great!
12/16/2011

We bring this information to you to refute claims that have been circulating through on-line sources and to reassure you of the high quality of the drinking water provided by ECUA.  During the second week of December 2011, MSNBC.com re-released an article they originally featured in February 2011, and which presented drinking water quality rankings for major utilities in the US.  The MSNBC.com article presented a listing of the ten cities in the US with the “worst drinking water”, and claimed that Pensacola was on the top of that list.  The article was based on, and contained information that was extracted from, a December 2009 report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), that evaluated water quality data for 100 water utilities over a five-year period beginning in 2004.

The claims in the EWG report and the subsequent MSNBC.com article placed ECUA’s water as the “lowest rated water” in the entire US.  As you can imagine, the ECUA’s Board and water quality professionals vehemently contested this ranking, noting that ECUA drinking water is totally safe and meets all established federal and state standards.  In fact, through the entire five-year period covered in the EWG report and the intervening years up to the present day, the ECUA has complied with all safe drinking water standards with no regulatory violations at all.  On the contrary, a number of the utilities ranked higher than ECUA in the EWG report actually had violations of the safe drinking water standards.

Immediately following the release of the EWG report, the ECUA asked for a scientific review of the report by the Center for Environmental Diagnostics & Bioremediation (CEDB) at the University of West Florida.  That CEDB’s report, which can be viewed via the link below, stated that, “the EWG report does not present a valid scientific assessment of water toxicity, nor are its comparisons of utility systems statistically valid.”  The CEDB review goes on to say that the EWG report “ignores the risk assessment procedures used to establish safe regulatory standards and their comparative rankings have little or no scientific validity.”  Essentially, the CEDB review showed that the claims in the EWG report (and the resulting MSNBC article) were sensationalized misrepresentations of data, designed and formulated for shock value.  Another fact pointed out in the CEDB report is that the EWG report is not attributable to any specific author(s) and there is no mention of the expertise on the part of the authors or even the EWG organization as a whole. 

The ECUA staff includes state-licensed water system operators and water quality laboratory technicians.  These dedicated professionals are on duty all day, every day, working to provide safe and reliable drinking water to our entire customer base.  The ECUA operates its own state-certified water quality laboratory, which conducts hundreds of water analyses weekly.  The analytical results for all of these tests are kept on file and submitted to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) as required.  We are pleased to report that the ECUA water is not only totally safe, it also tastes good.  In a water tasting competition among the utilities in the western Florida Panhandle, ECUA’s water has been judged “best tasting” water three times in the past six annual competitions.

Our water utility professionals adhere to high standards and take pride in their provision of a consistently safe drinking water to all of our customers.  Rest assured, when you drink ECUA water, you are getting a safe product that complies with all federal and state water quality standards.

To read the report from the UWF Center for Environmental Diagnostics & Bioremediation, click the link below:

UWF Study

To view the latest ECUA Annual Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence Report), click the links below:

Water Quality Report

Water Quality Report Table # 1

Water Quality Report Table # 2

Water Quality Report Table # 3

Water Quality Report Table # 4

To view a Power Point Presentation of the CEDB report, click the link below:

Snyder Report