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Water Quality Report 2020
Dear Valued Customers,

​​​​​​​​In 2020, Broward County Water and Wastewater Services (WWS) celebrated its 58th year of service to our customers. Since 1962, WWS has been responsible for the planning, construction, operations, maintenance, customer service, water management, and financial management of the County’s water and sewer utility. The utility now supplies p​​otable water to over 50,000 retail customers, including a population of approximately 180,000. Once again, we are pleased to report that the drinking water provided to our customers in 2020 met or exceeded all standards of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.


Last year, WWS made significant strides in its ongoing efforts to provide the best quality service to its customers.


Construction has continued for WWS’ Local Utility Program. The Local Utility Program began in 2009 with the Utility Analysis Zone (UAZ) projects. UAZ projects focus on water and sanitary sewer improvements which are currently estimated at $275 million over the next 20 years.


WWS received the following prestigious industry awards:


2020 Earle B. Phelps Award awarded by Florida Water Environment Association for Outstanding Wastewater Treatment Plant Performance. Broward County North Regional Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant also won this award in 2016 and 2017.


2020 Water Resources Utility of the Future Today (UotFT) Honoree. UotFT Recognition Program honors forward thinking, innovative water utilities that are providing resilient value-added service to communities, particularly in community engagement, watershed stewardship, and recovery of resources such as water, energy, and nutrients. This is the second year in a row that WWS has received this prestigious recognition.


2020 ASCE Project of the Year awarded by the Broward Chapter of American Society of Civil Engineers for the “Hillsboro Mile Sanitary Sewer Improvements Project,” which included about 16,000 linear feet of gravity sewer, 23,000 linear feet of force main and 270 wastewater services along a three mile stretch of A1A, north of the Hillsboro Inlet in the Town of Hillsboro Beach.


2020 ASCE Government Engineer of the Year awarded to Gregory Balicki, P.E., Broward County Water and Wastewater Engineering Division Director. The award was established to recognize distinguished civil engineers employed in public service for significant engineering contributions as a practitioner in public service.


We take a great deal of pride in the job that we do and recognize that we play a vital role in maintaining the health and well being of our customers. We remain steadfast in our commitment to always do our best to provide the highest quality of service. On behalf of Water and Wastewater Services 400+ employees, we thank you for being our customer and an important partner in our continuing effort to remain one of the best utilities in the nation.​

Alan W. Garcia, P.E., Director
Broward County Water and Wastewater Services




What does the utility do to assure my drinking water complies
with federal and state standards?

Before water ever reaches your tap, it goes through a multi-step treatment process.

Where does my water come from?

Your tap water originates from the Biscayne Aquifer, which lies 50-200 feet underground. The Aquifer is comprised primarily of limestone and sand.

Biscayne Aquifer

As a groundwater source, the Aquifer is naturally protected from undesirable microbial pathogens that are common in surface water supplies. This is due to the natural filtration that occurs in the Aquifer and the amount of time the water resides in the ground prior to being withdrawn.

Source Water Assessment

In 2020 the Florida Department of Environmental Protection performed a Source Water Assessment on our systems. The assessment was conducted to provide information about any potential sources of contamination in the vicinity of our wells. There are six (6) potential sources of contamination identified for the 1A system with a low susceptibility level, and eighteen (18) potential sources of contamination identified for the 2A system with a low susceptibility level. In 2020, FDEP performed a Source Water Assessment for the City of Hollywood which provides water for our 3A and 3B/C systems; there are twenty-three (23) potential sources of contamination identified for the 3A/3BC systems with a low to moderate susceptibility level. The assessment results are available on the FDEP Source Water Assessment Protection Program website at dep.state.fl.us/swapp or they can be obtained from the City of Hollywood Water Quality Division by calling ​954-921-3414.

Softening

At the water treatment plant, the ground water is initially treated with lime and ferric chloride to reduce hardness and color. During this step of the treatment process, chemicals are added so that most of the hardness and particles in the water can be easily removed.

Fluoridation

Following softening, fluoride is added for enhanced protection against tooth decay.

Filtration

Filtration is used following softening to further treat the softened water by removing the remaining particulate matter from the treated water.

Disinfection

Disinfection, which is the final treatment step, is accomplished by the addition of chlorine and ammonia, otherwise known as chloramines. A small amount (residual levels) of chloramines disinfectant is maintained throughout the distribution system in order to control microbial regrowth.

Monitoring

Broward County Water and Wastewater (WWS) Services routinely monitors for contaminants in your drinking water according to Federal and State laws, rules, and regulations. Except where indicated otherwise, this report is based on the results of our monitoring for the period of January 1 to December 31, 2020. Data obtained before January 1, 2020, and presented in this report are from the most recent testing done in accordance with the laws, rules, and regulations.

More than 13,250 tests are performed each year to comply with national standards in WWS’ NELAP* certified drinking water laboratory.

WWS also employs certified water treatment operators who conduct more than 317,000 process control tests annually. These tests ensure that the water treated and delivered to Broward County customers meets or exceeds all federal requirements for safe drinking water under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The following provided table lists the parameters set by the Safe Drinking Water Act and the levels detected in potable water for Districts 1A, 2A, 3A and 3B/C.

Broward County Water and Wastewater Services District Service Areas Map can be found at Broward.org/WaterServices/WaterQuality/Documents/WaterServiceAreasMap.pdf.


*National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP Institute/TNI)

What is in my water? Test Results

(3A and 3BC water supplied by the City of Hollywood)


INORGANIC CONTAMINANTS​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
​Contaminant
​Date of Sampling (mo/yr)
​MCL Violation Y/N
​1A
​2A
​3A
​3BC
​MCLG
​MCL
​Likely Source of Contamination
​Arsenic (ppb)
​5/20-7/20
​N
​0.480
​0.319
ND
ND
​0
​10
​Erosion of natural deposits; runoff from orchards; runoff from glass and electronics production wastes
​Barium (ppm)
​5/20-7/20
​N
​0.00328
​0.007403
0.0043
0.0043
​2
​2
​Discharge of drilling wastes: discharge from metal refineries; erosion of natural deposits
​Chromium (ppb)
​5/20-7/20
​N
0​.398
0​.312
​ND
​ND
​100
​100
​Discharge from steel and pulp mills; erosion of natural deposits
​Fluoride (ppm)
​5/20-7/20
​N
​0.686
​0.732
0.64
0.64
4
4.0
​Erosion of natural deposits; discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories. Water additive which promotes strong teeth when at the optimum level of 0.7 ppm
​Nitrate (as Nitrogen) (ppm)
​5/20-7/20
​N
0.302
0​.329
​0.090
​0.090
​10
​10
​Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits
Selenium (ppb)
​5/20-7/20
​N
0.488
0.439
​ND
ND
​50
​50
​Discharge from petroleum and metal refineries; erosion of natural deposits; discharge from mines
​Sodium (ppm)
​5/20-7/20
​N
​44.3
​40.2
​23.2
23.2
​NA
​160
​Saltwater intrusion, leaching from soil

DISINFECTANTS and DISINFECTION BY-PRODUCTS​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
​Contaminant
​Dates of Sampling (mo/yr)
​MCL Violation Y/N
​1A (range)
​2A (range)
​3A (range)
​3BC (range)
​MCLG or MRDLG
​MCL or MRDL
​Likely Source of Contamination
​Chlorine (ppm)
01/20-12/20
​N
​3.6 (0.9-5.6)
​3.7 (0.4-5.2)
​3.3 (ND-4.8)
​3.0 (0.5-4.6)
​4.0
​4.0
​Water additive used to control microbes
​HAA5-haloacetic acids (ppb)
​N
​39.8 (26.3-48.6)
​26.0 (20.0-26.0)
​38.7 (23.2-38.7)
​15.5 (7.25-15.5)
​NA
​60
​By-product of drinking water disinfection
​TTHM-total trihalomethanes (ppb)
​N


59.4 (49.0-62.3)
31.1 (28.0-31.1)
​17.8 (16.5-17.8)
22.5 (16.5-22.5)
​NA
​80
​By-product of drinking water disinfection

LEAD and COPPER (Tap Water)​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​
​Contaminant (90th Percentile Value)
​Dates of Sampling (mo/yr)
​AL Violation Y/N
​1A
​2A
​3A
​3BC
​MCLG
​Action Level (AL)
​Likely Source of Contamination
​Copper (Tap Water) (ppm)
7/19​
​N
​0.1261
​0.1049
​0.0570
​0.0473
​1.3
​1.3
​Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits; leaching from wood preservatives.
​# of Sites exceeding the AL

​0
​0
​0
​0
​Lead (Tap Water) (ppb)
​N
​6.06
12.85
5.22
​1.15
​0
​15
​Corrosion of household plumbing systems.
​# of Sites exceeding the AL

​0
​2
2
1
UNREGULATED CONTAMINANTS (UC)​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

​Water and Wastewater Services has been monitoring for Unregulated Contaminants (UC) as part of a study to help the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determine the occurrence in drinking water of UC and whether or not these contaminants need to be regulated. At present, no health standards (for example, maximum contaminant levels) have been established for UC. However, we are required to publish the analytical results of our UC monitoring in our annual water quality report. If you would like more information on the EPA’s Unregulated Contaminants Monitoring Rule (UCMR), please call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791


​Contaminant and Unit of Measurement
​Dates of Sampling (mo/yr)

1A average and (range)
2A average and (range)
​Likely Source of Contamination
Manganese (ppb)
​4/20-6/20

​1.0 (1.0-1.0)
​0.51 (0.51-0.51)
​Natural occurrence
​ from soil leaching
HAA6 Br- haloacetic acids (ppb)
​4/20-6/20

6.4 (5.7-6.9)
​5.4 (5.2-5.6)

​By-product of drinking water disinfection
HAA9-haloacetic acids (ppb)
​​4/20-6/20

48 (43-53)
22.5 (22-23)


By-product of drinking water disinfection

Definitions for the Tables

Action Level or AL: The concentration of a contaminant that, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.
Maximum Contaminant Level or MCL: The highest level of contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.
Maximum Contaminant Level Goal or MCLG: 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.
Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level or MRDL: The highest level of disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that the addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.
Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal or MRDLG: 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.
Parts per billion (ppb) or Micrograms per liter (µg/l): One part by weight of analyte to 1 billion parts by weight of the water sample.
Parts per million (ppm) or Milligrams per liter (mg/l): One part by weight of analyte to 1 million parts by weight of the water sample.
Treatment Technique or TT: A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water. ​
ND: Means not detected and indicates that the substance was not found by laboratory analysis.
NA: Not applicable.



How Do Contaminants Get Into Drinking Water?

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 include:

  • (A) Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations and wildlife.
  • (B) 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.
  • (C) Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff and residential uses.
  • (D) 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.
  • (E) Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

To ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the EPA prescribes regulations, which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water, which must provide the same protection for public health.

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 the 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 at 1-800-426-4791.

Immuno-Compromised Persons

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 microbiological contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 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. WWS 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 epa.gov/safewater/lead.

System 3A Notice

System 3A experienced a treatment technique violation on September 18, 2020 due to a problem with an uninterrupted power supply at the facility. Testing and continuous monitoring showed the water was in compliance with drinking water standards and was safe to drink.




ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Environmental Protection Agency
Safe Drinking Water Hotline
Phone: 800-426-4791
epa.gov/safewater

National Centers for Disease Control
Phone: 800-232-4636
cdc.gov

American Water Works Association
Phone: 800-926-7337
awwa.org

South Florida Water Management District
Phone: 800-662-8876
sfwmd.gov


For additional copies of this report, contact:
Water and Wastewater Operations Division
Phone: 954-831-0810
Fax: 954-831-0842


To view the 2020 Water Quality Report online, go to:​
broward.org/WaterServices/WaterQuality/Pages/WaterQualityReport.aspx 


The Broward County Commission meets in formal session on most Tuesdays, as scheduled, at 10AM in room 422 of the Broward County Governmental Center, 115 S. Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. The meeting calendar is updated regularly to reflect workshops, holidays and winter/summer recess.