By Nickolaus Hines
Opelika Utilities reported in the 2015 water quality report that tap water provided in 2014 met or exceeded all water–quality standards.
Water sourced from Opelika’s two surface water reservoirs, Saugahatchee Lake and Halawakee Creek, were tested for inorganic chemicals, synthetic organic chemicals, volatile organic chemicals and radioactive contaminants. The results of the test show what is in Opelika’s tap water and how the levels of chemicals compare to the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, and Alabama Department of Environmental Management standards.
“The report is a snapshot of the water quality over the past year,” said Dan Hilyer, Opelika Utilities general manager. “It’s simply there to reinsure the customers that they are getting the quality of water they need.”
The EPA has set limits on the amount of certain contaminants allowed in publicly provided tap water to ensure drinkability. Contaminants tested come from sewage treatment plants, agricultural operations, urban storm water runoff, mining, farming and oil production under the categories of microbial, organic, inorganic, pesticides and radioactive contaminants.
The W. Warner Williams Water Resource Park at Saugahatchee Lake was recently awarded the 2015 Grand Award for Engineering Excellence by the Alabama Council of Engineering Companies. Since completion in May of 2013, the park has been able to provide up to eight million gallons of water per day. The Robert A. Betts Water Treatment Plant at Halawakee Creek provides an additional 16 million gallons of water per day.