Annual Drinking Water Quality Report for 2021 Alfred University Water System
To comply with State regulations, Alfred University Water Department will be annually issuing a report describing the quality of your drinking water. The purpose of this report is to raise your understanding of drinking water and awareness of the need to protect our drinking water sources. Last year, we conducted tests for Lead and Copper, coliform bacteria. We detected a higher than allowable Lead content for our first required monitoring period. The Lead/Copper test 90th percentile results placed us at level higher than the State allows. As we told you at that time, our water temporarily exceeded a drinking water standard and we rectified the problem by flushing the buildings that were in exceedance of the allowable limits and retesting to verify the water was back within the NY State limit. This report provides an overview of last yearâ€™s water quality. Included are details about where your water comes from, what it contains, and how it compares to State standards.
If you have any questions about this report or concerning your drinking water, please contact Jamie Eveland or Rob Freeland, Water Operators, 607-871-2157. We want you to be informed about your drinking water. If you want to learn more please contact them.
Where does our water come from?
In general, 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 dissolves naturally-occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activities. Contaminants that may be present in source water include: microbial contaminants; inorganic contaminants; pesticides and herbicides; organic chemical contaminants; and radioactive contaminants. In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the State and the EPA prescribe regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. The State Health Departments and the Food and Drug Administration’s regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health.
Our water system serves approximately 2500 people through 32 service connections. Our water source is supplied to Alfred University from 2 different groundwater wells, owned by the Village of Alfred, which are located on Shaw Rd. in the Town of Alfred. The water is treated with Chlorine Gas at .4 MG/L prior to distribution.
Are there contaminants in our drinking water?
As the State regulations require, we routinely test your drinking water for numerous contaminants. These contaminants include: total coliform, inorganic compounds, lead and copper, total trihalomethanes, and haloacetic acids. (Please see the Village of Alfred’s Annual Water Quality Report for other testing results as our water comes from the Alfred Village Water Supply.) The table presented below depicts which compounds were detected in your drinking water in August of 2021. The State allows us to test for some contaminants less than once per year because the concentrations of these contaminants do not change frequently. Some of our data, though representative of conditions at the time tests were done, are more than one-year-old.
It should be noted that all drinking water, including bottled drinking water, may be reasonably expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791) or the Allegany County Health Department at 585-268-9250.
|Date of Sample||90th %
Range of Detections
|Unit Measure-ment||MCLG||Regulatory Limit (MCL, TT or AL)||Likely Source of
|Lead||Yes||6/30/2021||.0184||MG/L||0||AL 0.015||Corrosion of plumbing
system; Erosion of natural
|Copper||No||6/30/2021||.209||MG/L||1.3||AL 1.3||Corrosion of Galvanized
Pipes; Leaching from wood
|Lead||No||9/10/2021||.00974||MG/L||0||AL 0.015||Corrosion of plumbing
system; Erosion of natural
|Copper||No||9/10/2021||.202||MG/L||1.3||AL 1.3||Corrosion of Galvanized
Pipes; Leaching from wood
The level presented represents the 90th percentile of the 20 sites tested. A percentile is a value on a scale of 100 that indicates the percent of a distribution that is equal to or below it. The 90th percentile for lead detection for the 1/21 through 6/21 sampling period was .00184 mg/L. The range of detection for lead was .00143 mg/L to .217 mg/L. The 90th percentile for copper detection was .209 MG/L The range of detection for copper for the 1/21 through 6/21 sampling period was 0.0461mg/L to 0.389 mg/L. The 90th percentile for lead detection for the 7/21 through 12/21 sampling period was .00974 MG/L ranging from .000607 mg/L to 0.0136. The 90th percentile for copper detection for the 7/21 through 12/21 sampling period was .202 MG/L ranging from 0.0197 mg/L to 0.325 mg/L. In this case, 20 samples were collected in our water system and the 90th percentile for copper was not in exceedance. The action level for copper was not exceeded at any of the sites tested. There was a required action for follow up lead testing as the 1/21 through 6/21 sample period exceeded the maximum allowable limit. No action was required for the lead testing for the 7/21-12/21 sampling period as the action level was not exceeded.
Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL): The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible.
Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG): 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.
Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level (MRDL): 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.
Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal (MRDLG): 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 contamination.
Action Level (AL): The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.
Treatment Technique (TT): A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.
Level 1 Assessment: A Level 1 assessment is an evaluation of the water system to identify potential problems and determine, if possible, why total coliform bacteria have been found in our water system.
Level 2 Assessment: A Level 2 assessment is an evaluation of the water system to identify potential problems and determine, if possible, why an E. coli MCL violation has occurred and/or why total coliform bacteria have been found in our water system on multiple occasions.
Non-Detects (ND): Laboratory analysis indicates that the constituent is not present.
Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU): A measure of the clarity of water. Turbidity in excess of 5 NTU is just noticeable to the average person.
Milligrams per liter (mg/l): Corresponds to one part of liquid in one million parts of liquid (parts per million - ppm).
Micrograms per liter (ug/l): Corresponds to one part of liquid in one billion parts of liquid (parts per billion - ppb).
Nanograms per liter (ng/l): Corresponds to one part of liquid to one trillion parts of liquid (parts pertrillion - ppt).
Picograms per liter (pg/l): Corresponds to one part per of liquid to one quadrillion parts of liquid (parts per quadrillion – ppq).
Picocuries per liter (pCi/L): A measure of the radioactivity in water.
Millirems per year (mrem/yr): A measure of radiation absorbed by the body.
Million Fibers per Liter (MFL): A measure of the presence of asbestos fibers that are longer than 10 micrometers.
What does this information mean?
The table shows that our system uncovered a problem in 2021 with an exceedance of the allowable limit for lead. The duration of the violation was from 1/1/2021 through 12/31/2021. The potential adverse health effects are: Infants and children who drink water containing lead in excess of the action level could experience delays in their physical or mental development. Children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney problems or high blood pressure. We corrected this by flushing our system and buildings and conducting another test to prove levels are back within the allowable limits. Additional required Water Quality Parameters and Source Water Monitoring tests were performed as part of the Lead MCL Exceedance.
If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women, infants, and young children. It is possible that lead levels at your home may be higher than at other homes in the community as a result of materials used in your home’s plumbing. Alfred University is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (1-800-426-4791) or this website.
Is our water system meeting other rules that govern operations?
During 2021, our system was in compliance with all applicable State drinking water operating, monitoring and reporting requirements.
The Alfred University Water System was in violation of State lead and copper control requirements for exceeding the 90th percentile for Lead from 1/21 through 6/21 and is required to test Bi-annually for lead/copper. Therefore, we must include the following statement in this report: “Infants and children who drink water containing lead in excess of the action level could experience delays in their physical or mental development. Children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning disabilities. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney problems or high blood pressure.”
Do I need to take special precautions?
Some people may be more vulnerable to disease causing microorganisms or pathogens 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 from their health care provider about their drinking water. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium, Giardia and other microbial pathogens are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).
Why save water and how to avoid wasting it?
Although our system has an adequate amount of water to meet present and future demands, there are a number of reasons why it is important to conserve water:
- Saving water saves energy and some of the costs associated with both of these necessities of life;
- Saving water reduces the cost of energy required to pump water and the need to construct costly new wells, pumping systems and water towers; and
- Saving water lessens the strain on the water system during a dry spell or drought, helping to avoid severe water use restrictions so that essential firefighting needs are met.
You can play a role in conserving water by becoming conscious of the amount of water your household is using, and by looking for ways to use less whenever you can. It is not hard to conserve water.
Conservation tips include:
- Automatic dishwashers use 15 gallons for every cycle, regardless of how many dishes are loaded. So get a run for your money and load it to capacity.
- Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth.
- Check every faucet in your home for leaks. Just a slow drip can waste 15 to 20 gallons a day. Fix it and you can save almost 6,000 gallons per year.
- Check your toilets for leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in the tank, watch for a few minutes to see if the color shows up in the bowl. It is not uncommon to lose up to 100 gallons a day from one of these otherwise invisible toilet leaks. Fix it and you save more than 30,000 gallons a year.
Thank you for allowing us to continue to provide the Alfred University community with quality drinking water this year. In order to maintain a safe and dependable water supply we sometimes need to make improvements that will benefit all of our customers. Through continued monitoring/testing and system upgrades our goal is to maintain a high level of quality and to improve the means by which the water is received by the community.