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Annual Drinking Water Quality Report

Posted on August 24, 2005:

PWSID #180006

J. Harry Norris, III, Mayor
Walter R. Gillette, Vice-President
Charles R. Faunce
J. Maguire Mattingly, III
Leslie E. Roberts
Walter Wise

41675 Park Ave
P.O. Box 1
Leonardtown, MD 20650

Commissioners of Leonardtown
Annual Drinking Water Quality Report

Spanish (Espanol)
Este informe contiene informacion muy importante sobre la calidad de su agua beber. Traduscalo o hable con alguien que lo entienda bien.
Is my water safe?
Last year, as in years past, your tap water met all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state drinking water health standards. The Town of Leonardtown vigilantly safeguards its water supplies and once again we are proud to report that our system has not violated a maximum contaminant level or any other water quality standard.Our Water utility staff consists of two licensed operators who have a combined experience of more than 38 years between them. Together our operators have attended more than 106 hours of continuing education training in the past year in an effort to keep up-to-date with the latest in water treatment techniques. Our goal is to give you the best quality water possible. The provision of quality water is an ongoing effort for the Commissioners of Leonardtown and its staff, and upon which we are continuously trying to improve.In our continuing efforts to maintain a safe and dependable water supply, it may be necessary to make improvements to your water system. The cost of these improvements may be reflected in the rate structure. The Town sets its water rates so that the system pays for itself without a subsidy from property tax revenues. In this way, the cost of the water service can be borne by those who actually use water rather than just by the property owners.
Do I need to take special precautions?
Some people 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, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).
Where does my water come from?The source of our drinking water is the Aquia Aquifer, which lies about 500 feet below the earth's surface. An aquifer is a sort of underground river. Wells are drilled to tap the aquifer and pump water to the surface for distribution. The Maryland Department of the Environment's Water Supply Program (WSP) has conducted a Source Water Assessment for the Leonardtown water supply and has determined that it is not susceptible to contaminants originating at the land surface due to the protected nature of confined aquifers. The water supply is, however, susceptible to naturally occurring arsenic (based on the new EPA standard). In addition, the susceptibility of the water supply to radon-222, a naturally occurring element, will depend on the final MCL that is adopted for this contaminant. A complete copy of the Source Water Assessment for the community water systems of St. Marys County, Maryland is available at the Leonardtown Town Hall.

Source water assessment
Following is a list of water sample sites utilized in 2004 to assess the quality of the Town's water supply:1. Leonardtown Library2. Wastewater Treatment Plant3. College of Southern Maryland4. St. Mary's Health Department5. State Troopers' Barracks restroom6. Wendy's Restaurant7. Leonardtown CVS8. St. Mary's Medical Arts Bldg.
Why are there contaminants in my drinking water?Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791). The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it can acquire naturally occurring minerals, in some cases, radioactive material. It can also pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity. Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife. Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, can be naturally occurring or result from urban stormwater runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming. Pesticides and herbicides may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and residential uses. Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems. Radioactive contaminants can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities. In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA prescribes regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health.
How can I get involved?The Town's residents can all play a part to ensure the quality and supply of our water. Being conscious of how you utilize this precious resource will help the Town ensure the reliability of our water supply. The Commissioners of Leonardtown along with the staff of the Utilities Department remain dedicated to providing the best quality water possible for the Town's residents.
Other Information
Water Conservation:While the Town presently has a sufficient water supply, the Commissioners of Leonardtown urge every citizen to exercise good conservation practices in the use of this precious resource. Good information and advice on water resource conservation as well as other valuable drinking water information can be found on the EPA website at: www.epa.gov.
Results of radon monitoringRadon is a radioactive gas that you can't see, taste, or smell. It is found throughout the U.S. Radon can move up through the ground and into a home through cracks and holes in the foundation. Radon can build up to high levels in all types of homes. Radon can also get into indoor air when released from tap water from showering, washing dishes, and other household activities. Compared to radon entering the home through soil, radon entering the home through tap water will in most cases be a small source of radon in indoor air. Radon is a known human carcinogen. Breathing air containing radon can lead to lung cancer. Drinking water containing radon may also cause increased risk of stomach cancer. If you are concerned about radon in your home, test the air in your home. Testing is inexpensive and easy. Fix your home if the level of radon in your air is 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L) or higher. There are simple ways to fix a radon problem that aren't too costly. For additional information, call your state radon program or call EPA's Radon Hotline (800-SOS-RADON).
Additional Information for Arsenic
Some people who drink water containing arsenic in excess of the MCL over many years could experience skin damage or problems with their circulatory system, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer. The Town’s drinking water, at an average concentration of 13 ppb Arsenic, is slightly above the new MCL of 10 ppb that is due to go into effect in January 2006. With the assistance of the Town’s contracted engineering firm, Leonardtown formulated an Arsenic Compliance Plan that was finalized in April 2005. As part of this comprehensive plan, the Town plans to construct a new well that will tap into the Patapsco Aquifer which is expected to have acceptable Arsenic levels. This well will be designed to provide approximately 75% of our potable water needs for the next 10 years. Completion of this new well is scheduled for December 2005.

Water Quality Data Table
The table below lists all of the drinking water contaminants that we detected during the calendar year of this report. The presence of contaminants in the water does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. Unless otherwise noted, the data presented in this table is from testing done in the calendar year of the report. The EPA and/or the State requires us to monitor for certain contaminants less than once per year because the concentrations of these contaminants do not change frequently.

or TT, or Your Range Sample
Contaminants MRDLG MRDL Water Low High Date Violation Typical Source

Disinfectants & Disinfection By-Products
(There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.)
TTHMs [Total Trihalomethanes] (ppb) NA 80 0.64 ND 0.64 2004 No By-product of drinking water disinfection
Inorganic Contaminants
Arsenic (ppb) 0 50 14 8 14 2004 No Erosion of natural deposits in Aquai aquifer (Leonardtown)
Copper - source water (ppm) NA 1.3 0.08 0 0.08 2002 No Corrosion of household plumbing systems; Erosion of natural deposits
Fluoride (ppm) 4 4 0.19 0.19 0.28 2004 No Erosion of natural deposits
Sodium (optional) (ppm) NA NA 39 30 39 2004 No Erosion of natural deposits; Leaching
Radioactive Contaminants
Beta/photon emitters (pCi/L) 0 50 8 5 8 2002 No Decay of natural and man-made deposits. The EPA considers 50 pCi/L to be the level of concern for Beta particles.
Radium (combined 226/228) (pCi/L) 0 5 1.5 0.1 1.5 2002 No Erosion of natural deposits

Non-Detected Contaminants
Following is a list of potential drinking water substances that the Department of Utilities is required to test for, but which have not been detected in the water supply in the past year.

Contaminants State MCL Your Water Violation Explanation and Comment

Lead - source water (ppm) 0.015 mg/L(TT) 0 No Corrosion of household plumbing systems; Erosion of natural deposits
Total Coliforms and E. Coli 0 0 NA No Total Coliform and E. coli bacteria are among potential drinking water substances that the Department of Utilities is required to test for, but which have not been detected in the water supply in the past year.

Unit Descriptions
Term Definition
ppm ppm: parts per million, or milligrams per liter (mg/L)
ppb ppb: parts per billion, or micrograms per liter (µg/L)
pCi/L pCi/L: picocuries per liter (a measure of radioactivity)
NA NA: not applicable
ND ND: Not detected
NR NR: Monitoring not required, but recommended.

Important Drinking Water Definitions
Term Definition
MCLG 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 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.
TT TT: Treatment Technique: A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.
AL AL: Action Level: The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.
Variances and Exemptions Variances and Exemptions: State or EPA permission not to meet an MCL or a treatment technique under certain conditions.
MRDLG MRDLG: Maximum residual disinfection level goal. The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.
MRDL 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 control of microbial contaminants.
MNR MNR: Monitored Not Regulated
MPL MPL: State Assigned Maximum Permissible Level

For more information please contact:

John Johnson
22620 Van Wert Lane
Leonardtown, MD 20650
301-475-5007 (fax)

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