PORT RICHEY — The city’s utilities division got solid marks for water quality, a city official reports, especially on the total dissolved solids yardstick.
City Manager Tom O’Neill trumpeted the recent laboratory results.
Saltwater intrusion has limited production from city wells to about 450,000 gallons of high-quality water a day, O’Neillhas said. Typical demand for water from customers in the city and surrounding area, however, can range between 700,000 to 900,000 gallons a day. Port Richey has to buy bulk water from New Port Richey to make up the difference.
“In the past, the city of Port Richey routinely violated the MCL limit for Total Dissolved Solids due to the overpumping” of three city wells, O’Neill explained in a memo to city council members. MCL stands for maximum contaminant level.
Several years ago, the city obtained a variance from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for the MCL standard for dissolved solids.
So the most recent numbers indicate the city is keeping saltwater intrusion problems in check, O’Neill thinks.
“I also wanted to draw your attention to the attached sample report from Advanced Environmental Laboratories, Inc. at the water system point of entry for total dissolved solids,” O’Neill wrote.
TDS measures combined organic and inorganic constituents of water. A high TDS can be an indicator of saltwater intrusion in the drinking water supply, the city manager noted.
Regulations cap the maximum amount of contaminants for the dissolved solids at 500 milligrams per liter in any public drinking water supply.
“The attached report shows an acceptable level of … at 350 mg/l” at the point of entry for the city utility, O’Neill observed, “a marked improvement in city drinking water quality.”
The results are “directly attributable to decreased production from Wells 1, 2 and 3,” O’Neill concluded.
The bacteriological sampling results were equally encouraging, O’Neill reported.
AEL technicians measured all five city wells and five distribution points, Auto Zone, Limit Drive, Grand Boulevard Salon, Stop-N-Play and Wimslow Park.
The monthly samples test for total coliform bacteria indicates if levels of waterborne bacteria are high enough to cause illness from the consumption of contaminated water.
“I want to draw your attention to the analyses … that show no coliform bacteria present in any distribution system sample or any raw water well sample for the round of sampling occurring on Feb. 19,” O’Neill underscored.