2015 Consumer Confidence Report Big Sandy Waterworks

Big Sandy Water System Water Quality Report for 2015

Is my drinking water safe?

Yes, our water meets all of EPA’s health standards. We have conducted numerous tests for over 80 contaminants that may be in drinking water.  As you’ll see in the chart on the back, we only detected five of these contaminants.  We found all of these contaminants at safe levels.

What is the source of my water?

Your water, which is ground water, comes from a sand aquifer. Our goal is to protect our water from contaminants and we are working with the State to determine the vulnerability of our water source to potential contamination. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has prepared a Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP) Report for the untreated water sources serving water to this water system.  The SWAP Report assesses the susceptibility of untreated water sources to potential contamination.  To ensure safe drinking water, all public water systems treat and routinely test their water.  Water sources have been rated as reasonably susceptible, moderately susceptible or slightly susceptible based on geologic factors and human activities in the vicinity of the water source.  The Big Sandy Water System sources rated as slightly susceptible to potential contamination.

An explanation of Tennessee’s Source Water Assessment Program, the Source Water Assessment summaries, susceptibility scorings and the overall TDEC report to EPA can be viewed online at https://www.tn.gov/environment/article/wr-wq-source-water-assessmentor you may contact the Water System to obtain copies of specific assessments.

A wellhead protection plan is available for your review by contacting Debbie Wright at the Big Sandy Water System between 8:00 am to 4:00 pm weekdays.

Why are there contaminants in my 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 Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

Este informe contiene información muy importante.  Tradúscalo o hable con alguien que lo entienda bien.

For more information about your drinking water, please call Debbie Wright at 731-593-3213.

How can I get involved?

Our Water Board meets on the third Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. at the City Hall, which is located at 65 Front Street .  Please feel free to participate in these meetings.

 Is our water system meeting other rules that govern our operations?

The State and EPA require us to test and report on our water on a regular basis to ensure its safety. We have met all of these requirements.  Results of unregulated contaminant analysis are available upon request.  We want you to know that we pay attention to all the rules.

 Other Information

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 activity.

Contaminants that may be present in source water:

  • Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.
  • Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which 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, which 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, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems.
  • Radioactive contaminants, which 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 and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation prescribe regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. FDA regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health.


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 under-gone 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 not only their drinking water, but food preparation, personal hygiene, and precautions in handling infants and pets from their health care providers. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbiological contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).


Lead in Drinking Water

If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. Big Sandy Water System 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 or at http://www.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family%23water%23water

 Water System Security

Following the events of September 2001, we realize that our customers are concerned about the security of their drinking water.  We urge the public to report any suspicious activities at any utility facilities, including treatment plants, tanks, fire hydrants, etc. to 731-593-3213.

Think before you flush!

Flushing unused or expired medicines can be harmful to your drinking water. Properly disposing of unused or expired medication helps protect you and the environment. Keep medications out of Tennessee’s waterways by disposing in one of our permanent pharmaceutical take back bins. There are nearly 100 take back bins located across the state, to find a convenient location please visit: https://www.tn.gov/environment/article/sp-unwanted-pharmaceuticals

W  a  t  e  r     Q  u  a  l  i  t  y     D  a  t  a

What does this chart mean?

  • MCLG – Maximum Contaminant Level Goal, or 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 – Maximum Contaminant Level, or 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. To understand the possible health effects described for many regulated constituents, a person would have to drink 2 liters of water every day at the MCL level for a lifetime to have a one-in-a-million chance of having the described health effect.
  • MRDL: Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level or MRDL: The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for the control of microbial contaminants.
  • MRDLG: Maximum residual disinfectant 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.
  • AL – Action Level, or the concentration of a contaminant which, when exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.
  • Below Detection Level (BDL) – laboratory analysis indicates that the contaminant is not present.
  • Parts per million (ppm) or Milligrams per liter (mg/l) – explained as a relation to time and money as one part per million corresponds to one minute in two years or a single penny in $10,000.
  • Parts per billion (ppb) or Micrograms per liter – explained as a relation to time and money as one part per billion corresponds to one minute in 2,000 years, or a single penny in $10,000,000.
  • AVG – Average


Contaminant Violation



Range of Detections Date of Sample Unit


Likely Source of Contamination
Total Coliform Bacteria No 0 2015 0 <2 positive samples Naturally present in the environment
Copper1 No 90th%=0.018 2013 ppm 1.3 AL=1.3 Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits; leaching from wood preservatives
Combined radium No 1.81 2015 PCi/1 0 5 Erosion of natural deposits
Lead1 No 90th%=BDL 2013 ppb 0 AL=15 Corrosion of household plumbing systems, erosion of natural deposits
Nickel No 27 2012 ppb 100 100
Sodium No 8.8 2014 ppm N/A N/A Erosion of natural deposits; used in water treatment
Sulfate No 32 2012 ppm N/A 250 Erosion of natural deposits

[Total trihalomethanes]

No BDL 2015 ppb n/a 80 By-product of drinking water chlorination
Haloacetic Acids (HAA5) No BDL 2015 ppb N/A 60 By-product of drinking water disinfection.
Chlorine No 1.22


1.0-1.5 2015




Water additive used to control microbes.


Iron: Iron occurs naturally in our raw water and occasionally accumulates in the distribution system. Iron shows up as “red” or ”rusty” water at your tap. Although you do not want to drink water that is not clear, iron is not considered to be a hazard to your health.. The aesthetic limit for iron is 0.3 ppm.


1During the most recent round of Lead and Copper testing, 0 out of 10 households sampled contained concentrations exceeding the copper action level and 2 out of 11 households samples contained concentrations exceeding the lead action level.