2016 Water Quality Report

The City of Hermiston is pleased to provide the annual Water Quality Report for calendar year 2016. Our goal has always been to provide the consumer with a safe, dependable supply of drinking water. The drinking water produced by the city is safe and meets or exceeds all federal and state requirements.

Water Sources and Treatment

Hermiston gets its water from several sources.  Three are deep wells, one is a shallow well, and a surface water source—Lake Wallula on the Columbia River (also known as the McNary Pool).

The deep wells, the City’s original and primary water source, draw water from a deep Columbia River Basalt aquifer. Well #2 and Well #4 are the primary deep wells connected to the central distribution system. Well #6 supplies the higher- elevation service area in the southeast part of the City. Well #5 draws water from a shallow alluvial aquifer. This well is also connected to the central distribution system. The entire water distribution system is interconnected.

The surface water  source  is  drawn  from  Lake  Wallula through a river intake and pump station at the Port of Umatilla near McNary Dam. It is pumped to the water treatment facility where it is filtered and disinfected for domestic use. Chlorine is added to all the sources of drinking water for disinfection to maintain system integrity.

System Improvements

The City  continues  to  maintain  and  improve  the  water system. The maintenance and upgrades to the distribution system including flushing  water  mains,  cleaning the  water reservoirs,  and  upgrading  the  electronic  and  mechanical controls at the wells and water filtration plant, are designed to enhance water quality, while simultaneously   reducing costs associated  with  producing  water. During 2016,  the  water department installed or accepted responsibility for more than 2,270 feet of new water mains and 75 new services.

Explanation of Contaminants

Drinking water, including bottled water, may be expected to   contain  at   very  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 EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline (1-800-426-4791). Contaminants that may be present in source water include:

  • Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria.
  • Inorganic contaminants,  such  as  salts  and  metals,  can occur naturally or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial, mining, or farming.
  • Pesticides and Herbicides  come  from  sources  such  as agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses.
  • Organic Chemical Contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, are byproducts of  industrial processes and can also come from storm water runoff.
  • Radioactive Contaminants can occur naturally or be the result of mining activities.
  • Lead, if present in elevated levels, can cause serious health problems,   especially   in   pregnant   women   and   young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. The City of Hermiston 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 two 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 www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.

To ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the EPA prescribes regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) are set at very stringent levels. For example, 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. 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).

Health Information

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 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 about drinking water from their  health  care  providers.  EPA/Centers  for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen  the  risk  of  infection  by  Cryptosporidium and  other microbial  contaminants are  available  from  the  Safe  Water

Drinking Hotline (800-426-4791). 2016 Water Quality Data

The City of  Hermiston routinely monitors its  water for contaminants in your drinking water according to federal and state laws. The City of Hermiston tests for over 100 contaminants in drinking water. The contaminants listed in the table are  the  only  contaminants detected during 2016. Unless otherwise noted, the data in this table is from testing done in 2016.

How We Did

  • Last year we had one late reporting violation. The violation has been corrected, and we are currently in good standings with the Oregon Health Authority.

If you have any questions about this report or concerning your water utility, please contact water superintendent

Roy Bicknell at Public Works, 550 E Elm Ave Hermiston, OR 97838; Phone: 541-567-5521; Fax: 541-567-5530.

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Additional Information

The 2016 Water Quality Report, including the Water Quality Data Table, is available here for download as an Adobe PDF document.