Thanks to people like Lane Gray and other Water Section personnel, Orem residents can turn on their water taps and get a drink of cool, clean water 24/7.
Orem recently received its 2020 Consumer Confidence report on the drinking water. The city continues to make a big splash with the positive and glowing reports on its water.
“I’d like to reassure the public that Orem has the best quality water in the nation, no, in the world,” said Gray, Water Section manager.
Gray’s confidence should not be overlooked. The Water Section personnel and treatment plant are heavily scrutinized to make sure the city is providing the very best quality and safe drinking water.
Orem uses a variety of sources to provide water to its residents and customers.
“Approximately 60% of Orem’s water comes from surface water sources, whereas 40% comes from ground water sources,” according to Water Section personnel. “Surface water sources include the Provo River, Deer Creek Reservoir and Jordanelle Reservoir.”
All of Orem’s surface water is treated (filtered and disinfected) at the Don A. Christiansen Regional Water Treatment Plant (DACRWTP), which is operated by the Central Utah Water Conservancy District (CUWCD).
“Orem’s ground water sources consist of nine deep wells located throughout the city. Wells pump from subterranean aquifers and provide 25% of Orem’s water,” according to Water Section reports. “Two mountain spring sources located in Provo Canyon contribute 15% of Orem’s water. Ground water (wells and springs) is pure enough to not require treatment.”
All of Orem’s water, whether from surface or ground water, is blended together within the distribution system. In 2020, Orem produced over 9.2 billion gallons of clean, safe drinking water to its residents.
“As far as water quality, it remains constant from year to year,” Gray said. “It is very high quality water and rivals any in the state.”
While some people may be concerned about things like lead or copper in the water, Gray said they are well within the parameters set by the government.
“More than 1,460 drinking water samples were analyzed for bacteriological contamination in 2020,” according to Water Section reports. “No bacteriological contamination was confirmed in these samples.”
Additional sampling was performed for disinfection byproducts, nitrates, inorganics, metals, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, radioactive materials, and other contaminants. Only trace amounts of contaminants identified in the consumer report were detected in Orem source water.
“Orem drinking water meets or exceeds water quality standards set by the (United States Environmental Protection Agency) and the state of Utah,” according to state sampling information.
Due to the high quality of Orem’s water, the state of Utah and the United States Environmental Protection Agency have granted the City of Orem and the Don A. Christiansen Regional Water Treatment Plant exemptions that allow for a reduction in conducting some chemical testing less frequently.
“The City of Orem collects over 30 samples from taps in homes every three years as required by the EPA,” Gray and crew reported. “The City of Orem has never had a violation of the lead and copper standards since the EPA required sampling began in 1992.”
Improper usage, storage and disposal of chemicals or other substances could potentially contaminate the ground water and surface water sources.
Examples of such substances are fertilizers, pesticides, cleaning solvents, motor oil and fuels.
“All residents and property owners are encouraged to use best management practices when using and storing these substances. Proper storage, mixing, spill cleanup, watering and disposal procedures for chemicals are essential in protecting our environment, according to Gray.
Gray’s hope is that residents will appreciate the water they have by using conservation measures, particularly during the late spring and summer months when water usage goes up with the temperatures.
“Be wise, use what you need,” Gray said. “60% of our water is dumped on the ground in the form of irrigation.”
Gray invited residents to embrace the color yellow perhaps more than deep green with their lawns.