2002 Water Quality Report

   Kingsport Public Works Kingsport Home Page   

Dear Customer,
     The Kingsport City Water Department continually strives to provide its customers the safest drinking water possible. This web page is a summary of the quality of water provided by the Water Department to its customers last year. It is a report reflecting the department's hard work and dedication to bringing you water that is absolutely safe to drink.
     Included in this summary is information about where your water comes from, what it contains, and how it compares to standards set forth by the State of Tennessee and the United States Environmental Protection Agency USEPA).
     The Water Department is committed to providing you, our customers, the safest, cleanest drinking water possible. We believe customers who are well informed are our best allies in supporting improvements necessary to maintain high water quality standards.

Note: Data for this report was compiled from test results performed calendar year 2002.
- Kingsport Water Department

A Treatment System
     At the treatment plant, shortly after the "raw" (untreated) water is pumped to the treatment plant it enters the flash mix where it is treated with both chlorine and a coagulant.
     Beginning cholorinization here allows the chlorine a longer contact-time, thus giving the chlorine more time to react with microorganisms. Coagulants cause light, fine materials suspended in the water to clump together into larger heavier particles.
     Next, the slow flow thru the sedimentation basin allows the heavier particles to settle out. Sedimentation removes the majority of the sediment from the water.
     Filtration, the next step, removes the remaining suspended material, lowering the turbiditylevel to well below the state's maximum containment level (mcl). The filtered water is then treated with chlorine for disinfection and fluoride to reduce tooth decay.
     The "finished" water is then pumped into the distribution system for public use.


If your have any questions or concerns about a potential cross connection please contact Tina Grindstaff at 229-9454.

Safety Standards
Is my water safe for drinking?
     The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. Most drinking water, including bottled water, contains small amounts of some contaminants. In order to ensure your tap water is safe, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain substances in water provided by public water systems. Bottled water companies must provide the same protection for public health; however, they are not required to submit a water quality report to the public.
     We are proud to report that Kingsport's water meets or surpasses all EPA and State health regulations. As demonstrated by the test results included below, the Kingsport Water Department conducts regular tests for numerous contaminants, and has found few. The exsisting contaminants are all well below the maximum safe levels.

Where does my water come from?
     Kingsport's drinking water originates at the South Fork of the Holston River.
     Our goal is to protect our water from potential contaminants. Currently, we are working with the state to determine the vulnerability of our water supply to contamination. A source water assessment has been developed and is available for review at the library.
     We ask that all our customers help us protect our water sources, which are the heart of our community, our way of life, and our children's future.

Sources & Substances
What types of substances could be in my water?
     As water travels over the surface of the land it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material. It can also pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or humans. Although these substances could be preset in "raw" water, our water meets all of the EPA's health standards. We have tested for over 80 substances that may be present in our drinking water. As you see in the chart below, we only detected 10 of these substances.

Substances that may be present in "raw" water include:

  1. Microbial organisms, such as viruses and bacteria, which may be from sewage plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations and wildlife.
  2. Inorganic compounds, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally occurring or result from storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharge, oil and gas production, mining or farming.
  3. Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources, such as agriculture, storm water runoff and residential uses.
  4. Organic chemicals including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are the by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, storm water runoff and septic systems.
  5. Radioactive material, which can be naturally occurring, or be the result of oil and/or gas production and mining activities.
We found all of these substances to be safe levels.

Water System Security
    We realize that our customers are concerned about the security of their drinking water. The City of Kingsport has taken precautions to safeguard the City's water supply. We urge the public to report any suspicious activities to any utility facility, including treatment plants, water storage tanks, fire hydrants, etc. to 246-9111 or 229-9452.

Special Information
Should I be concerned?
     Some individuals may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons, such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, persons with AIDS/HIV or other immune system disorder, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk of infection. These people should seek advice about drinking water form their health providers. EPA guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by microbiological organisms are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (1-800-426-4791).

Continuing to Serve You
What happens now?
     Our mission is to continually improve our water treatment process to provide you with the cleanest and safest possible drinking water. We take our job very seriously.
     If you have any questions regarding your water quality please contact Niki Ensor or Ron Haynes at (423)229-9452.
     If you are interested in learning more about the Water Department, or participating in the decision-making process, contact our Community Relations and Training Officer at (423)229-9372. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. The meetings are at 7:00 p.m. at the City Hall Conference Room. This grants opportunities for the general public to voice opinions and/or concerns about decisions that affect the quality of their drinking water.

Este informe contiene información muy importante. Traduscala o hable con algiúen que lo entienda bien.

Water Quality Control

Contaminant Violation
Date of
Unit of
MCLG MCL Likely Source
of Contamination
Total Coliform Bacteria NO 0 2002   0 Presence of coliform bacteria in 5% of monthly samples Naturally present in the environment
Turbidity NO 0.14 2002 NTU N/A  TT Soil runoff
Copper NO 90th%
2002 ppm 1.3  AL=1.3 Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits; leaching from wood preservatives
Fluoride NO 1.1 2002 ppm 4  4 Erosion of natural deposits; water additive which promotes strong teeth; discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories
Lead NO 90th%
2002 ppb 0  AL=15 Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits
Sodium NO 5.9 2002 ppm N/A  N/A Erosion of natural deposits; used in water treatment
TTHM (Total trihalomethanes) NO 46
2002 ppb N/A  80 By-product of drinking water chlorination

Haloacetic Acids

NO 47
2002 ppb N/A  60 By-product of drinking water disinfection
Total Organic
NO 1.07
2002 ppm TT  TT Naturally present in the environment
Date of
Unit of
MRDLG MRDL Likely Source of Contamination
Chlorine NO 1.25
2002 ppm 4  4 Water additive used to control microbes

Listed above are contaminants detected in Kingsport's drinking water during 2002. All results are below allowed levels. Not listed are numerous contaminants for which we tested that were not detected, or below detectable limits.

The optimal fluoride level is between 0.7 - 1.2 mg/l. With a fluoride level of approximately 1.0 mg/l, the optimum condition exists - maximum reduction in cavities.

Turbidity is monitored every four (4) hours, seven (7) days a week. In 2002 our lowest reported result was 0.01 NTU, our highest reported result 0.15 NTU.

Definitions & Abbreviations
The following is a list of abbreviations and definitions used in this report:

AL - Action Level. The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirement which a water system must follow.

MCLG - Maximum Contaminant Level Goal. The level of a contaminant in drinking water, below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.

 MCL - Maximum Contaminant Level. The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible, using the best available treatment technology.

MRDL - Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level. The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for the control of microbial contaminants.

MRDLG - Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal. The level of drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.

NTU - Nephelometric Turbidity Units.

PCI/L - Picocuries per Liter. (A measure of radioactivity)

PPM - Parts per Million or MG/L - Milligrams per Liter

PPB - Parts per Billion or MCG/L - Micrograms per Liter

TT - Treatment Technique. A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water. Example: Kingsport adds a zinc-orthophosphate corrosion inhibitor to the drinking water to create a type of barrier in the underground lines and lines in the individual homes. This barrier comes between the flowing water and the pipe it is flowing through in order to keep contaminants that may come from the pipes from entering the water.

Turbidity Level - A measure of the cloudiness of water; it is a good indicator that our filtration system is functioning properly.


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