The United States Environmental Protection Agency requires that the City of Cumming report the results of all water quality analyses to the public on an annual basis. Download a copy of the City’s latest Drinking Water Quality Report by clicking here. This report includes the results of all chemical testing that was performed during the previous calendar year. In summary, the City has met and/or exceeded all of the requirements of both the state and federal governments. Specifically, the City is required to test your drinking water for nitrates, nitrites, sodium, fluoride, turbidity, trihalomethanes (THMs), total coliform bacteria, chlorine, total organic carbon, halo acetic acid (HAA5), copper, and lead.
Believe it or not, the water in Lake Lanier is very clean. It is not safe to drink in it’s “raw” state, but the quality of our lake water is very consistent.
Does Storm Water Affect Water Quality?
Storm water runoff does affect the quality of water in Lake Lanier, the sole drinking water source for the City of Cumming and Forsyth County. Water is known as the “universal solvent” which means that many things, such as pollutants, are easily dissolved and carried away by water. During a storm event, rain water falls on your lawn, driveway, and roof and then eventually flows into streams, river, and/or lakes. The rain water carries with it substances such as fertilizers, lawn chemicals, brake dust, paint, gasoline, oil, soil, pesticides, herbicides, etc. into these bodies of water and eventually your drinking water.
Be a good steward of our water resources by keeping these chemicals in a storage area and out of the rain. When you need to get rid of these types of chemicals or their containers, please dispose of them in a proper manner. Also, please do not over-fertilize your lawn!
What is the City of Cumming Doing About Water Quality in Our City?
The City has applied for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit (NPDES) so that the Georgia EPD can properly regulate the storm water that is discharged from the City into the waterways of our State. The City is required to hold a Storm Water NPDES Permit because the City is considered by the USEPA to be a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). The Permit requires that the City implement certain Best Management Practices (BMPs) to curtail and hopefully eliminate the pollutants that are being washed into a our local creeks streams and lakes by storm water.
For example, chemical and gasoline storage areas should be covered and kept out of the weather. The City periodically conducts inspections of industrial and commercial sites to ensure compliance with this regulation.
In addition, soil erosion from construction sites must be managed properly and the City is in the process of issuing more citations for violations of our ordinances and other State requirements.
The City has implemented an Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) program. This program includes inspections of dry-weather flows from storm sewer pipes and culverts. The presence of flow from certain pipes and culverts may indicate that an illegal connection to the storm sewer system exists in the area upstream from the culvert. This discharge or illegal connection will be identified and eliminated (connected onto the City’s sanitary sewer system).