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Water Quality in Winter Park
December 14, 2013
I recently discussed some features of my new home with a client and was surprised by one of the elements he found interesting. We were discussing tap water and ways to pour a glass of chilled water when a kitchen design prevents the use of a standard water dispenser in the refrigerator door. This topic led into a discussion of different methods of chilling and filtering the drinking water and raised questions about the water quality in Winter Park. How good is our City water?
Our water utility is required to monitor and report on its water quality and annually presents a report to its customers to help create public awareness of safety concerns. According to the latest report, from 2012, the water is pretty good! The utility has recently won awards related to best tasting water and also for the operation/quality of treatment facilities. Nevertheless, some residents still have concerns with either the chlorine taste or additives, like fluoride, which are put into the water. I don’t personally have concerns about our water quality, but have been using a basic Everpure filter at my water tap for several years. I feel it helps make the water taste better. Some of my clients have desired more in depth filtration and/or softening systems, so I have installed whole house systems, like those made by EWS. They manufacture models that address different water quality concerns. Regardless of how you enjoy your water, we should always be conscious of the importance of water efficiency and minimize our use – inside the home and in the landscape.
While reading about our potable water supply, I also came across The 2009 Lakes Management Report. This report offers some great insight into trends of our lakes water quality, threats to the water, and also ways every resident can help improve the water quality of our lakes. The Report states that a majority of our lakes have seen improvements in quality in the previous ten years, but also outlines areas that still need to be worked on. The quality of our lakes is primarily affected by stormwater runoff, so every resident has an important role to play. Here are some basic guidelines that each of us can do to help the quality of our lakes:
Lawn Maintenance – remove leaf litter and grass clippings from your yard and curb/street;
Fertilizer and Pesticide – use only phosphorus-free fertilizers and be sure to keep all chemicals off paved surfaces. Don’t apply pesticide or fertilizer if it is windy or weather forecasts predict rain within 24 to 48 hours;
Car Washing – avoid toxic chemicals, use a nozzle to reduce wasted water, and try to wash your car on your yard (instead of paved surface) to help prevent runoff of chemicals and cleaners;
Get Involved – participate in our lake advisory board and lake cleanups
Besides maintaining the tap water we drink, our City works hard to protect its numerous lakes and water bodies. We are very fortunate to have good quality water, but the City needs our help to ensure a clean and safe water supply for the future.