Testing

 

To ensure that ECUA water meets or exceeds federal and state drinking water standards, we collect and analyze water samples with more frequency than federal regulations require through the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).  Our State-certified laboratory performs many of the tests, although some samples are sent to external labs for processing.   We are certified by the Florida Department of Health following the NELAC (National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference) standards.  As part of our certification requirements, we participate in 5 Proficiency Testing rounds every year, which are graded by an outside agency.    Additionally, the laboratory and staff undergo a 2- to 3- day on-site inspection every 2 years and we are subject to inspection at any time by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

Testing the Water


The FDEP Water Bureau oversees the state's public drinking water systems. The agency is responsible for making sure that all water purveyors follow the SDWA requirements. The U.S. EPA, in turn, monitors the state's drinking water program to ensure that the state is fulfilling its responsibilities.


The water supply is analyzed for:

* Bacteria
* Metals and other inorganic chemicals
* Radiological constituents
* Organic chemicals

Results of testing are available in the Water Quality Report and water analysis on that Web page.

Our source water is from the Sand-and-Gravel Aquifer, and ECUA has 32 wells distributed throughout its service area that pump water from the Sand-and-Gravel Aquifer.  In general, ECUA customers receive water from the wells (two to five) located closest to their residence.  Each well is considered a separate treatment plant, where water quality parameters are adjusted to comply with operating standards.  Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filters are installed on eleven (11) wells for iron or organic contamination removal.  Calcium Hydroxide (lime) is added for pH adjustment; Phosphoric Acid is added for corrosion control in the distribution system and Chlorine is added for disinfection.   Fluoride is added at select wells, as a source of fluoride treatment. 

Each year, our water quality staff:

 Collects about 3,000 water samples from points along the distribution routes and the well sites to test for Total Coliform Bacteria (BAC-Ts) and monitor system levels of chlorine.

 Manages over 18,500 analyses of collected samples that are conducted, either in our state-certified lab or by an external laboratory facility.

 Monitors our water quality in "real time" 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

 Tested for more than 60 Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

 Total Trihalomethane (TTHM) and Halo Acetic Acid 5 (HAA5) are tested quarterly

 Analyzes Each well annually for Nitrites and Nitrates (NO2 and NO3)

 Analyzes 50 samples annually, each for Temperature, Ph, Alkalinity, and ortho phosphate

We also conduct extensive quality control sampling of our distribution system. Although this type of sampling is not required by regulation, it's important for identifying the system's potential areas of weakness so that they may be addressed.

Water Sampling Stations


ECUA water quality staff manages hundreds of sampling stations at fire hydrants, throughout the distribution routes and also at each well site, from which we draw water samples for required testing. This helps us to ensure that water quality is maintained, from the well all the way to the tap.
New pipes, water mains and service lines are also tested for the potential presence of bacteriological contaminants before they are accepted as part of the distribution system.

NOTE: Our employees do not ask to enter your home to collect a water sample from your tap.