City of Pateros issues annual drinking water report

Read and learn

PATEROS – The City of Pateros has released its annual water report as mandated by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act and the State of Washington. Unlike many required publications that can be sleep-inducing to wade through, this one has some interesting points that it would benefit residents to read.

The city has two active wells, No. 3 at 101 Edna Street and No. 4 at 159 Pateros Mall. Water from both wells meets all state and federal standards. Chlorine used for disinfection is checked daily and is kept at safe and effective EPA levels, the report said.

Manganese content is regularly monitored. City water has come primarily from well No. 3 since February 2021 where 16 manganese samples have been taken since 2019 with the following results:

“The average manganese level is 0,0011, well below the State Secondary Contaminant Level of 0,5.” the report said.

A project to investigate the manganese level in well No.4 is ongoing through this year and is being funded by a grant from USDA Rural Development.

Some points worth noting by city water users include 1. Lead in drinking water, 2. Cross connection control, 3. Users more vulnerable to contaminants, and 4. Drinking water protection.

Lead in drinking water

The report recommends that any drinking water tap that has not been used for six hours or more be flushed until the water is noticeably colder before using the water personal consumption. Use only water from the cold-water tap for drinking, cooking, and especially making baby formula.

Lead in drinking water comes mainly from household plumbing components. The longer the water sits in pipes the more dissolved metals it may contain. Hot water is more likely to contain higher lead levels.

The EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline (1-800-426-4791) or website have more information about lead in drinking water.

Cross connection control

Property owners should be aware of the potential of backflow of used water into the drinking water system from household or outdoor connections without backflow prevention assemblies.

“Cross connections are links between drinking water piping and any plumbing or equipment through which it may be possible for used water or other substances to enter (or backflow) into the public water supply,” the report said.

Protecting the integrity of the city’s drinking water depends in large part on its property owners. The city has a Cross Connection Control Program designed to identify and eliminate backflow contamination points. Property owners having questions about cross connections or who plan to install a backflow prevention assembly are urged to contact city hall at 509-923-2571.

Users more vulnerable to contaminants

The presence of small amounts of contaminants may not pose a health risk to most users. However, people with immunocompromised health conditions such as those undergoing chemotherapy, organ transplants, experiencing immune system disorders, or at greater risk of infection by cryptosporidium or other microbial contaminants can call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791 for EPA/CDC guidance on how to lessen the risk of infection.

Drinking Water Protection

Unwanted or unused household hazardous materials can be disposed of free of charge at the Okanogan County Central Landfill. Those same materials put into the ground carry the potential of contaminating the drinking water supply. Call 509-422-2602 to learn more about what materials are accepted and when.



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