Is Raw Lake Water Safe to Drink? Probably Not!

When ingested, harmful pathogens found in lake water, such as cryptosporidium, giardia, and e-coli can cause severe nausea and vomiting or even death. These pathogens are removed from the water by the treatment facility’s multi-media filtration system. Other pathogens are killed by the chorine that is added to the water at the beginning and at the end of the treatment process. For more information about water quality click here.

Chlorine itself can form harmful compounds called Trihalomethanes (THMs) when the chlorine chemically combines with the natural organic substances found in water. These compounds are believed to cause cancer. Metals such as copper and lead also pose a health risk, especially to children. Copper and lead can leach from plumbing fixtures, lead soldering, and the copper pipes found in your home.

As you can see from the above list of potential health hazards, there is a great need for continual monitoring of the treatment process via laboratory examination. The City’s laboratory personnel are always on duty and keep a watchful eye on the quality of the water that you and your family drinks. See the Cumming Utilities Home Page for a link to the City’s most current Water Quality Report or “Consumer Confidence Report

Laboratory Testing Available To The Public: The City’s Water Production Laboratory will test private well water for the presence of total coliform and fecal coliform bacteria. These bacteria are found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals (including humans) and  their presence indicates the possible presence of other pathogens. Their absence indicates that the water has been properly disinfected and that there is no other pathogens present in the water. This test is called a “presence-absence test”.

I want my well tested for bacteria. What do I do next? The Water Production Laboratory utilizes the Colilert brand of presence-absence tests. Each test requires 24-hours of incubation and the City charges $35.00 per test. If you are interested in having your well tested, please call the Water Production Laboratory at  (770) 781-2026 for more information.

I want my well tested for lead, copper, and other contaminants. What do I do next? The Water Production Laboratory does not perform these tests for the general public. If you are interested in having your well tested, please call the Water Production Laboratory at  (770) 781-2026 for more information. We can recommend several local labs to perform the testing for you.

What chemicals does the City use in their treatment process?

Aluminum Sulfate Al2 (SO4)3 – used as a flocculant to cause finely divided mud particles in the raw lake water to clump together , become heavier, and settled out of the water.

Lime Ca(OH)2 – used to adjust the pH of the water to a neutral pH of 7.0 S.U.

Fluoride H3SiF6 – used to raise the level of fluoride in drinking water to 1.0 parts per million. This substance helps to harden teeth and prevent dental cavities.

Chlorine Gas (Cl2) – used to disinfect the water and to kill pathogens such as viruses and bacteria

Polymer – used to aid the flocculation and filtration process.

Phosphates P2O5 – used to coat water pipes to prevent corrosion.