Osceola Water Works Did Not Meet Treatment Requirements

Our water system recently violated a drinking water standard. Although this was not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we did to correct this situation.

We routinely monitor your water for turbidity (cloudiness). This tells us whether we are effectively filtering the water supply.  Water samples for the month of September showed that 25 percent of turbidity measurements were over 0.3 turbidity units – the standard is that no more than 5 percent of samples may exceed 0.3 turbidity units per month. The turbidity levels are relatively low. However, their persistence is a concern.  Normal turbidity levels at our plant are below 0.3 turbidity units.

What should I do?

  • You do not need to boil your water or take other actions. We do not know of any contamination, and none of our testing has shown disease-causing organisms in the drinking water.
  • People with severely compromised immune systems, infants, and some elderly may be at increased risk. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1 (800) 426-4791.

What does this mean?

Turbidity has no health effects. However, turbidity can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. Turbidity may indicate the presence of disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches. These symptoms are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice.

What happened? What was done?

A problem occurred in August with the treatment process at the water plant due to a large blue green algae bloom that occurred in West Lake.  West Lake is where the City of Osceola obtains source water for treatment and distribution of drinking water.  Due to the algae bloom, increased turbidity levels were seen in each individual filter.  In response to the algae bloom Osceola Water Works worked with its chemical supplier and the Iowa DNR to troubleshoot the event.  Despite efforts, which included changing intake levels in West Lake, chemical feed additions, and adjustments to chemical doses, the increased combined filter effluent turbidity continued into the month of September.

As a result of the increased turbidity levels, Osceola Water Works replaced the existing carbon media in four of the eight filters, October 14, 2020.  The Water Works is also making modifications within the treatment plant, specifically the disinfectant feed point, and modifications to the location of compliance monitoring points to ensure greater representation.  Osceola Water Works returned to compliance on Friday October 2, 2020.

For more information, please contact Osceola Water Works at 641-342-1435 or email osceolawater2@windstream.net

This notice is being sent to you by Osceola Water Works
PWSID#: 2038038.

Date distributed: 10/30/20


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