Water Concerns

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 3:51:00 PM Categories: public services water

We understand that there are some drinking water customers that have been experiencing discoloration. We do take these reports seriously and our staff does take several precautions as a result, including draining of fire hydrants until the water is cleared. Our certified, licensed water operators work 24-hours, around the clock testing and treating city water several times each and every day at all five of our water treatment plant locations – a SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) regulation.


As a result of this testing, the water that leaves the City of Sumter’s treatment plants is considered high quality and is considered safe to drink. Our water supply is pumped from aquifers or underground rivers. There are 20 deep wells ranging from 700-850 feet in depth, which disperse water to the five treatment plants throughout the city. There are two compromises of using this type of system, one is that our groundwater will always have naturally occurring iron and two is that using any mechanical system, parts will fail and lines will be broken. The most important thing for customers to know is that our iron levels are well within DHEC standards when it leaves the treatment plant, but because iron is heavier than water, sometimes it will become trapped in pocket areas around the city. This is why we “drain” hydrants to help flush the iron from the system.


We are not telling you to drink discolored water. This discoloration is typically iron and chemically there is nothing harmful about iron in water, but you should report it, so the issue can be cleared up.


Because each situation will be different, we want to make sure we give each of our customers a chance to work with our water specialists on the issues that they are experiencing in their own home. Once you provide us your physical address and phone number, our staff will contact you directly to schedule a time to visit your home for additional testing to help address the issue as soon as possible.


As always it is our goal to achieve optimized water quality levels for all customers and the only way to do this is by working directly with each homeowner. Again, please contact our public services office to report an issue at 803-436-2558.


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