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Gering issues annual water quality report: City reports compliance with all regulations
June 26, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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Gering has issued its annual water quality report for 2013 and the system continues to meet all federal requirements to ensure safe potable water for local residents.

Pat Heath, Director of Public Works for Gering, said the report is required annually by the federal government to inform the public what’s contained in the drinking water.

“Most of the water is collected from our well system and some comes from the distribution system,” Heath said. “We’re happy to announce we’re in compliance with all state and federal regulations.”

Municipal drinking water, and even bottled water, contains at least small amounts of contaminants – which don’t necessarily pose a health risk. Microscopic organisms such as coliform and plants are often present in source water. So are inorganic contaminants like salts and metals, which naturally occur from farming and other human activities.

“We sample for coliform bacteria every week,” Heath said. “It’s not harmful but it’s used as an indicator of potential pollution because it’s so common. But Gering hasn’t had a coliform issue since 1996.”

He said that chlorination of the drinking water is what keeps coliform out of the system. “I know people don’t like disinfection or the taste of chlorinated water, but it’s a good practice to prevent problems with the water system.”

Heath said the new well field the city opened a few years ago has been working out very well. “The production is very good and the water quality is excellent. Arsenic and uranium levels are also quite low,” he said.

Heath said it’s good to get the annual water report out and he hopes the public reads it. Much of the language stays the same, but that’s due to federal requirements. The only part of the report that changes is the inside pages which report the actual numbers of what was found in the water.

The 2013 Annual Water Quality Report is published in the Talk of the Town newsletter. With the newsletter now being inserted into the daily newspaper, the city decided against mailing the report to every resident in an effort to save on mailing costs.

Heath said the report is available online at the city’s website, www.gering.org or a copy may be picked up at city hall.
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