At Indiana American Water, the health and safety of our customers are at the forefront of everything we do. That’s why our company holds itself to high standards in delivering clean, safe, reliable, and affordable drinking water to homeowners and businesses across Indiana.
We continually work to meet and exceed strict local, state and federal regulations for delivering safe, high-quality water service. In our most recent blog, the water quality and conservation experts at Indiana American Water discuss why water quality matters in our lives, and what we’re doing to treat and deliver water you can depend on.
Meeting Water Quality Standards
There are multiple challenges the water industry faces when it comes to water quality. This is why American Water remains steadfast in its commitment to be a leader in the U.S. water and wastewater industry and a provider of solutions to these challenges.
To follow through on our promise of safe, clean, affordable and reliable water, we are continuously looking at a growing list of contaminants that may affect source water. American Water has more than 10 PhDs on our Research and Development team focused on identifying new contaminants and developing a plan to mitigate and treat any potential threats to water quality.
Fortunately, the United States has some of the safest drinking water in the world. The Environmental Protection Agency regulates drinking water quality in public water systems, including Indiana American Water, and sets maximum concentration levels for water pollutants and chemicals to protect human health.
American Water works closely with the Environmental Protection Agency to not only meet current standards but to help the agency develop its standards and regulations.
Improving Your Water Quality
A quality water source is important for public health, whether it’s being used for food production, recreational purposes, bathing, drinking or the many other ways you use water in your everyday life. You can rest assured knowing that Indiana American Water is always working to improve the quality of your drinking water through a variety of measures.
Indiana American Water has made significant upgrades to our water systems and infrastructure across the state of Indiana in recent years to meet more stringent water quality regulations. Our upgrades have also improved system resiliency to protect plants and underground systems from extreme weather and natural hazards.
In Kokomo, Richmond and Muncie, for example, we replaced and upgraded aging and obsolete water facilities and equipment by adding ultraviolet disinfection to the existing treatment process. When it comes in contact with drinking water, UV disinfection provides an additional layer of protection against chlorine-resistant pathogens, viruses, and microorganisms that could be present in surface water sources.
We’ve also recently converted numerous water quality treatment facilities from chlorine gas to liquid sodium hypochlorite disinfection systems to enhance safety. We’ve also replaced or upgraded in excess of a dozen wells, several pumping stations, water filters, large-diameter water transmission mains, and other important facilities that serve customers in service areas throughout the state, including your local area.
Our team of plant operators and scientists constantly monitors the quality of water from our treatment facilities to your home, testing water samples to protect against naturally occurring and manufactured contaminants to keep you and your family safe.
Most water treatment facilities use five basic treatment steps to reduce contamination:
- Coagulation: Alum and other products are added to water to form tiny, sticky particles called “floc,” which attracts dirt and other particles suspended in water.
- Sedimentation: The heavy floc particles settle to the bottom of treatment tanks, allowing for their separation from the water.
- Filtration: The water passes through filters of sand, gravel, and charcoal to help remove even smaller particles.
- Disinfection: Chlorine is added or other disinfection methods are used to kill bacteria or other common microorganisms that could be present in the water.
- Storage: Water is placed in a closed tank or reservoir to allow for additional contact with disinfection chemicals. Water then flows through pipes to homes and businesses in the community.
Removing Lead Service Lines
Our water mains are not made of lead; however, the water service line that carries the water from the water main in front of or behind your home to your home could be. Over time, lead service lines can potentially corrode, allowing traces of lead into the drinking water supply. If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children.
We monitor for lead in your water system and report those in your annual water quality report (also known as the Consumer Confidence Report) as well as in the Typical Water Quality Summary, both of which can be found on the Water Quality Reports page on our website. We also take steps to reduce the potential for lead to leach from your pipes into the water. Where it is needed, we add corrosion inhibitors to the water leaving our treatment facilities. Some source waters are non-aggressive by nature, meaning there is no need to add corrosion control treatment.
Indiana American Water advocated at and worked with the Indiana Legislature to pass legislation in 2017 that, among other things, provided a process for water utilities to obtain authority to replace customer-owned lead service lines, even though the lines are not owned by the utility. After the legislation passed, Indiana American Water was the first utility in the state to submit a lead service line replacement plan and has already made significant progress in getting rid of these old lead service lines. It’s estimated that as many as 50,000 homes in areas served by Indiana American Water were connected with lead service lines.
Visit the company’s Lead and Drinking Water page online to learn more.
Working to Improve Your Water Quality
Poor water quality can affect your life in a variety of ways, causing a number of different issues. However, you can rest assured that the water quality experts at Indiana American Water are committed to delivering high-quality water supplies to our customers across the state of Indiana.
We know that at the end of every water pipe, there’s a family or business depending on us to provide this essential service safely and reliably. Indiana American Water has the expertise of more than 360 experienced professionals, the right technologies and techniques in use, and a demonstrated commitment to upgrading our infrastructure on an ongoing basis. In 2021 alone, we invested more than $145 million dollars in our infrastructure across the state. These investments allowed us to improve water quality, pressure, safety and service reliability for our customers. For more resources and information about Indiana American Water, get in contact with us or check out our website.
To learn more about the water quality in your city or town, click here to read your city’s report.