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About Your Water

Water in Covington
The City of Covington obtains its drinking water from the plentiful underground water system called the Memphis Sand Aquifer. The aquifer, located about 350 feet below land surface, has an estimated thickness of 800 feet and produces some of the highest-quality drinking water in the nation.

The Covington Water Facility utilizes four deep wells to draw water from the Memphis Sand Aquifer at an average depth of about 525 feet. Minimal Treatment is required and accomplished by aeration for iron oxidation and CO2 removal, followed by chlorination, fluoridation, pH adjustment and iron filtration. In its present configuration, the facility can produce approximately 6 million gallons of treated water per day. In Covington, we use on average about 2 million gallons per day and over a years time will pump over 700 million gallons.

Water in Nature
Water covers 70 % of the earth's surface. About 97 % of earth's water is in the oceans. Only 3% is fresh water (not salty) and 2/3 of the fresh water is locked in glaciers and ice caps. Of the fresh water available for home and industrial water supply, only 3% exists in lakes and streams. 97% is underground.

Water in Tennessee
Ground water is the source of drinking water for over 1/2 of the residents of Tennessee. There are nine principal aquifers in the state and on average, over 400 millions gallons per day is withdrawn. About 75% of all groundwater used in the state is in West Tennessee.

We presently do 15 separate water analysis in our lab each day, which totals around 450 per month. Additionally, we are required to analyze for approximately 145 other contaminants as required by the Chemical Monitoring Schedule established by the State of Tennessee, Division of Water Supply.

Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of frequently asked questions.

Bottled Water
Bottled water is widely used and very popular due to the absence of the chlorine taste found in municipal water. Is bottled water safer than tap water? Not necessarily. A recent study concluded that there is no assurance that just because water comes out of a bottle it is any cleaner or safer than water from the tap. Additionally, since bottled water typically uses ozone for disinfection, there is no residual disinfectant as with chlorine to continue disinfecting. Over time, it is believed that bacteria may develop in bottled water.

Read the label. Bottled water manufacturers are required to have their water source on the label and it comes in many forms. Spring Water, which is water that flows naturally flows to the surface. Artesian Water, which is ground water that reaches the surface with assistance such as a pump. And Purified Water, which is water from the tap that has been processed to remove the things we added at the water plant. In fact, an estimated 25 percent or more of bottled water is really just tap water in a bottle -- sometimes further treated, sometimes not.

Water Filters
Water filters are commonly used to remove chlorine and fluoride from the water to remove the "municipal water" taste. Most filters use a filtration system that requires some maintenance. If you use a filter, be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions or the filter itself can develop bacteria.

Rusty Water
Iron deposits can settle in the distribution system and if disturbed by an event such as a water main break or fire hydrant flushing, will get into solution and create an area of red water in the distribution system. If you notice red water, contact the water plant and turn on water faucets in your home to flush your internal water system. Red water is not a health hazard but do not wash clothes during such an event.

White Particles
Occasionally, we have had customer complaints regarding white particles in the water. In most cases, these particles had clogged the strainer in the end of a faucet. We discovered that these particles had nothing to do with the water quality but is actually a problem associated with your water heater. Some manufacturers utilized polypropylene tubes that in time begin to disintegrate. The easiest way to determine this is to apply heat to the particles and see if they melt. If it does, it's probably plastic from the dip tube. If you are unsure, contact the water plant.

Milky Water
We also have customer calls regarding milky water. The customer reports that the water comes out of the faucet with a milky appearance but will clear if allowed to sit for a while. This is a common occurrence and simply the result of air in the water main, typically caused by a repair on the main somewhere in your area. If you notice milky water, call your water plant and flush your internal plumbing. Milky water is not a health hazard.