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Each year, the city of Clearwater’s Public Utilities department presents residents with important information about the city’s drinking water quality in an annual consumer confidence report.

As part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments,” all water systems throughout the country must publish this annual report.

Printed copies are available upon request, and the report is also available in Spanish. If you’d like one mailed to you, call Clearwater Public Utilities at (727) 562-4960.

2019 Water Quality Report

Presented by City of Clearwater

Kids drinking from hose

Our Mission Continues

We are once again pleased to present our annual water quality report covering all testing performed between January 1 and December 31, 2019. Over the years, we have dedicated ourselves to producing drinking water that meets all state and federal standards. We continually strive to adopt new methods for delivering the best-quality drinking water to you. As new challenges to drinking water safety emerge, we remain vigilant in meeting the goals of source water protection, water conservation, and community education while continuing to serve the needs of all our water users.

Please remember that we are always available should you ever have any questions or concerns about your water. Please contact the Water Production Coordinator, Fred Hemerick, at (727) 562-4627 if you have questions about this report.

 

Community Participation Is Welcome

Boy playing in sprinklers

You are invited to participate in regularly scheduled meetings. The city of Clearwater Council normally meets at 6 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of each month at Clearwater Main Library, 100 N Osceola Ave, Clearwater, FL. The meeting agendas are published on the city's website at myclearwater.com. For more information, call (727) 562-4090.

The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners meets typically twice a month (usually, but not always) on the first and third Tuesday of each month. The earlier meeting in the month begins at 9:30 a.m. Meetings in the latter part of the month are held in two parts. Agenda items are discussed with the board at 2 p.m., after which there is a break and the board reconvenes at 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend these meetings held in the 5th floor Assembly Room of the Pinellas County Courthouse, located at 315 Court St. in Clearwater. For more information, call (727) 464-3485.

Tampa Bay Water's Board of Directors meetings occur on the third Monday of every other (even) month at 9 a.m. at Tampa Bay Water, 2575 Enterprise Road in Clearwater. For more information, visit their website at tampabaywater.org or call (727) 796-2355.

Important Health Information Doctor looking at a child smiling

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immunocompromised 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 may be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. The U.S. EPA/CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791 or http://water.epa.gov/drink/hotline.

Substances That Could Be in Water

Person pouring water into tea cup

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:

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

In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the U.S. 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 (800) 426-4791.

Where Does My Water Come From?

water coming out of a showerhead

City of Clearwater residents use approximately 11.5 million gallons of potable water every day. Approximately 60 percent is pumped from city-owned and operated groundwater wells; the remaining daily demand is supplied by water purchased from Pinellas County Utilities. The groundwater source for Clearwater comes from a groundwater supply called the Floridan Aquifer. This aquifer is one of the major sources of groundwater in the United States and underlies all of Florida, southern Georgia, and small parts of adjacent Alabama and South Carolina.

Pinellas County Utilities receives drinking water from Tampa Bay Water, a regional water supplier, which in turn becomes part of the water supplied to the residents of Clearwater. The water supplied by Tampa Bay Water is a blend of groundwater, treated surface water, and desalinated seawater. Eleven regional wellfields, pumping from the Floridan Aquifer, are the primary source for the regional groundwater supply. The Alafia River, the Hillsborough River, C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, and the Tampa Bypass Canal are the primary supplies for the regional treated surface water supply. Hillsborough Bay is the primary supply of seawater for the regional desalinated supply. For more information on the Tampa Bay Water system, visit their website at tampabaywater.org.

Source Water Assessment

In 2019, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection performed Source Water Assessment on our system. The assessment was conducted to provide information about any potential sources of contamination in the vicinity of our wells. There are 45 potential contaminant sources ranging from low to high concern levels.

In 2019, the Department of Environmental Protection performed Source Water Assessments for the Tampa Bay Water facilities. The assessment results are available on the FDEP Source Water Assessment and Protection Program website at www.dep.state.fl.us/swapp, or they can be obtained from Tampa Bay Water, 2575 Enterprise Road, Clearwater, FL 33763, phone (727) 796-2355.

City Water Treatment Plants

Clearwater has three water treatment plants, two of which are reverse-osmosis (RO) water treatment plants.

How Is My Water Treated?

Clearwater uses Best Available Treatment (BAT) technologies to ensure that the drinking water delivered to our consumers meets or exceeds all drinking water standards. The city produces its own water and purchases the rest from Pinellas County Utilities to meet the water demand of city residents.

  • At RO Plant No. 1, water from wells in the Upper Floridan Aquifer is filtered to remove suspended solids such as iron. Then, it is processed by reverse-osmosis to remove selected dissolved molecules, including hardness-causing salts. The water is disinfected using monochloramines, stabilized to protect the pipeline system and is then pumped to consumers.
  • At RO Plant No. 2, brackish water from the lower portions of the Upper Floridan Aquifer is treated by reverse-osmosis to remove selected dissolved molecules, including hardness-causing salts. The water is then treated with ozone to remove sulfide, disinfected using monochloramines and stabilized to protect the pipeline system and is then pumped to consumers.
  • At Water Plant No. 3, raw water from the Upper Floridan Aquifer is blended with water supplied by Pinellas County Utilities, disinfected using monochloramines, stabilized to protect the pipeline system and is then pumped to consumers.

The City of Clearwater has been monitoring for unregulated contaminants (UCs) as part of a study to help the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determine the occurrence of UCs in drinking water and whether or not these contaminants need to be regulated. At present, no health standards have been established for these unregulated contaminants. The drinking water sampling results shall be reported in the annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). CCRs are made available at www.myclearwater.com/waterreport by July of the year following sampling. For the most recent sampling results please contact Public Utilities at (727) 562-4627. For more information about the EPA’s Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule, please visit www.epa.gov/dwucmr.

Boy drinking water out of a cup

Lead in Home Plumbing

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. We are responsible for providing high-quality drinking water, but we 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 2 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 at (800) 426-4791 or at www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.

The city of Clearwater remains vigilant in delivering the best-quality drinking water.

Questions?

Please contact the Water Production Coordinator, Fred Hemerick, at (727) 562-4627 if you have questions about this report.


Test Results

Our water is monitored for many different kinds of substances on a very strict sampling schedule. And, the water we deliver must meet specific health standards. Here, we only show those substances that were detected in our water (a complete list of all our analytical results is available upon request). Remember that detecting a substance does not mean the water is unsafe to drink; our goal is to keep all detects below their respective maximum allowed levels.

The State recommends monitoring for certain substances less than once per year because the concentrations of these substances do not change frequently. In these cases, the most recent sample data are included, along with the year in which the sample was taken.

Although E. coli was detected, the water system is not in violation of the E. coli MCL.

Routine and repeat samples are total coliform-positive and either is E. coli-positive or system fails to take repeat samples following E. coli-positive routine sample or system fails to analyze total coliform-positive repeat sample for E. coli.

For 2019 the city of Clearwater met and exceeded all State and Federal Drinking water standards.

Primary Regulated Contaminants

Microbiological Contaminants

 

 

City of Clearwater

Pinellas County Utilities

Tampa Bay Water

 

 

 

Contaminant and Unit of Measurement

TT Violation

(Yes/No)

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Result

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Result

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Result

MCLG

TT

Likely Source of Contamination

Total Coliform Bacteria1, 2 
(# of Positive Samples)

No

1/19–12/19

NA

1/19–12/19

NA

NA

NA

NA

TT

Naturally present in the environment



City of Clearwater

Pinellas County Utilities

Tampa Bay Water




Contaminant and Unit of Measurement

MCL Violation

(Yes/No)

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Total Number of Positive Samples for the Year

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Total Number of Positive Samples for the Year

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Total Number of Positive Samples for the Year

MCLG

MCL

Likely Source of Contamination

E. coli3(# of Positive Samples)

No

1/19–12/19

4

1/19–12/19

0

NA

NA

0

See footnote*

Human and animal fecal waste

 

Microbiological Contaminants



City of Clearwater

Pinellas County Utilities

Tampa Bay Water




Contaminant and Unit of Measurement

MCL Violation
(Yes/No)

Dates of Sampling
(mo./yr.)

The Highest Single Measurement

The Lowest Monthly Percentage of Samples Meeting Regulatory Limits

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

The Highest Single Measurement

The Lowest Monthly Percentage of Samples Meeting Regulatory Limits

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

The Highest Single Measurement

The Lowest Monthly Percentage of Samples Meeting Regulatory Limits

MCLG

MCL

Likely Source of Contamination

Turbidity4(NTU)

No

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

1/19-12/19

0.101

100

NA

TT

Soil runoff

Radioactive Contaminants



City of Clearwater

Pinellas County Utilities

Tampa Bay Water




Contaminant and Unit of Measurement

MCL Violation

(Yes/No)

Dates of Sampling (mo./yr.)

Level Detected

Range of Results

Dates of Sampling (mo./yr.)

Level Detected

Range of Results

Dates of Sampling (mo./yr.)

Level Detected

Range of Results

MCLG

MCL

Likely Source of Contamination

Alpha Emitters (pCi/L)

No

2/19

3.2

ND–3.2

NA

NA

NA

4/19

5.0

ND–5.0

0

15

Erosion of natural deposits

Radium 226 + 228 [Combined Radium] (pCi/L)

No

2/19

1.9

1.8-1.9

NA

NA

NA

4/19

1.8

0.4–1.8

0

5

Erosion of natural deposits

Uranium (ppb)

No

2/19

0.18

ND–0.18

NA

NA

NA

04/19

0.54

ND–0.54

0

30

Erosion of natural deposits

Inorganic Contaminants



City of Clearwater

Pinellas County Utilities

Tampa Bay Water




Contaminant and Unit of Measurement

MCL Violation

(Yes/No)

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Level

Detected

Range of Results

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Level

Detected

Range of Results

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Level

Detected

Range of Results

MCLG

MCL

Likely Source of Contamination

 Antimony (ppb)  No 2/19   ND NA NA  NA   NA  4/19  0.110  ND-0.110  6  6  Discharge from petroleum refineries; fire retardants; ceramics; electronics; solder

Arsenic (ppb)

No

2/19

1.5

0.45–1.5

2/19

0.3

NA

NA

NA

NA

0

10

Erosion of natural deposits; runoff from orchards; runoff from glass and electronics production wastes

Barium (ppm)

No

2/19

0.014

0.0085-0.014

2/19

0.0134

NA

NA

NA

NA

2

2

Discharge of drilling wastes; discharge from metal refineries; erosion of natural deposits

Chromium (ppb)

No

2/19

ND

NA

2/19

3.7

NA

NA

NA

NA

100

100

Discharge from steel and pulp mills; erosion of natural deposits

Fluoride 5 (ppm)

No

2/19

0.26

NA-0.26

2/19

0.67

NA

NA

NA

NA

4

4.0

Erosion of natural deposits; discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories; water additive that promotes strong teeth when at the optimum level of 0.7 ppm

Nickel (ppb)

No

2/19

ND

NA

2/19

2.4

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

100

Pollution from mining and refining operations; natural occurrence in soil

Nitrate [as Nitrogen] (ppm)

No

2/19

ND

NA

2/19

0.17

NA

NA

NA

NA

10

10

Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits

Sodium (ppm)

No

2/19

99

47-99

2/19

26.4

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

160

Salt water intrusion; leaching from soil

 

Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection By-Products



City of Clearwater

Pinellas County Utilities

Tampa Bay Water




Contaminant and Unit of Measurement

MCL Violation

(Yes/No)

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Level

Detected

Range of Results

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Level

Detected

Range of Results

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Level

Detected

Range of Results

MCLG or [MRDLG]

MCL or [MRDL]

Likely Source of Contamination

Bromate6 (ppb)

No

1/19-12/19

3.01

ND–5.2

NA

NA

NA

1/19-12/19

1.83

ND–5.68

0

10

By-product of drinking water disinfection

Chlorine7  (ppm)

No

1/19-12/19

2.86

0.2–5.9

1/19-12/19

3.7

0.17–4.7

NA

NA

NA

[4]

[4.0]

Water additive used to control microbes

 



City of Clearwater

Pinellas County Utilities

Tampa Bay Water




Contaminant and Unit of Measurement

Acute Violations (Yes/No)

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Non-Acute Violations

(Yes/No)

Level

Detected

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Non-Acute Violations

(Yes/No)

Level

Detected

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Non-Acute Violations

(Yes/No)

Level

Detected

MRDLG

MRDL (at the entrance to the distribution system)

Likely Source of Contamination

Chlorine Dioxide8(ppb)

No

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

4/19

NA

0.5

800

800

Water additive used to control microbes




City of Clearwater

Pinellas County Utilities

Tampa Bay Water




Contaminant and Unit of Measurement

MCL Violation

(Yes/No)

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Highest Monthly Average (three sample set collected in the distribution system)

Highest average (three sample set) following a daily MCL violation at the entrance to the distribution system

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Highest Monthly Average (three sample set collected in the distribution system)

Highest average (three sample set) following a daily MCL violation at the entrance to the distribution system

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Highest Monthly Average (three sample set collected in the distribution system)

Highest average (three sample set) following a daily MCL violation at the entrance to the distribution system

MCLG

MCL

Likely Source of Contamination

Chlorite(ppm)

No

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

1/19-12/19

0.00702

NA

0.8

1.0

By-product of drinking water disinfection




City of Clearwater

Pinellas County Utilities

Tampa Bay Water




Contaminant and Unit of Measurement

TT Violation

(Yes/No)

Dates of Sampling

(mo/yr)

Lowest Running Annual Average, Computed Quarterly, of Monthly Removal Ratios

Range of Monthly Removal Ratios

Dates of Sampling

(mo/yr)

Lowest Running Annual Average, Computed Quarterly, of Monthly Removal Ratios

Range of Monthly Removal Ratios

Dates of Sampling

(mo/yr)

Lowest Running Annual Average, Computed Quarterly, of Monthly Removal Ratios

Range of Monthly Removal Ratios

MCLG

MCL

Likely Source of Contamination

Total Organic Carbon (ppm)

No

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

NA

1/19-12/19

3.8

1.68–3.9

NA

TT

Naturally present in the environment

 

Stage 2 Disinfectants and Disinfection By-Products



City of Clearwater

Pinellas County Utilities

Tampa Bay Water




Contaminant and Unit of Measurement

MCL Violation

(Yes/No)

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Level Detected

Range of Results

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Level Detected

Range of Results

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

Level Detected

Range of Results

MCLG

MCL

Likely Source of Contamination

Haloacetic Acids (five) [HAA5] - Stage 2 (ppb)

No

2/19, 5/19, 7/19, 8/19, 11/19

35

7.5-63.8

2/19, 5/19, 8/19, 11/19, 12/19

33.805

19.9–47.2

NA

NA

NA

NA

60

By-product of drinking water disinfection

TTHM [Total trihalomethanes] - Stage 2 (ppb)

No

2/19, 5/19, 7/19, 8/19, 11/19

58.5

19.5-67.5

2/19, 5/19, 8/19, 11/19, 12/19

42.4475

31.4–57.9

NA

NA

NA

NA

80

By-product of drinking water disinfection

 

Lead and Copper (Tap water samples were collected from sites throughout the community.)



City of Clearwater

Pinellas County Utilities

Tampa Bay Water




Contaminant and Unit of Measurement

AL Violation
(Yes/No)

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

90th Percentile Result

No. of sampling sites exceeding the AL

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

90th Percentile Result

No. of sampling sites exceeding the AL

Dates of Sampling

(mo./yr.)

90th Percentile Result

No. of sampling sites exceeding the AL

MCLG

AL

(Action Level)

Likely Source of Contamination

Copper [tap water] (ppm)

No

7/2017, 8/2017

0.496

1

7/2017, 8/2017

0.5

1

NA

NA

NA

1.3

1.3

Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits; leaching from wood preservatives

Lead [tap water] 11 (ppb)

No

7/2017, 8/2017

0.69

1

7/2017, 8/2017

1.6

1

NA

NA

NA

0

15

Corrosion of household plumbing systems, erosion of natural deposits

 

Footnotes

1 Footnote for City of Clearwater: * The City of Clearwater collects a least 110 water samples a month for Total Coliform Bacteria Analysis.

2 Footnote for Pinellas County Utilities: * Pinellas County Utilities collects at least 210 water samples a month for Total Coliform Bacteria Analysis.

3 Footnote for City of Clearwater: All repeat sample results were negative for E. coli and total coliform, confirming there was not a total coliform positive or E. coli-positive compliance MCLG or MCL issue.

4 Footnote for Tampa Bay Water: NOTE: The result on the lowest monthly percentage column is the lowest monthly percentage of samples reported in the Monthly Operating report meeting the required turbidity limits.

Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness of the water. It is monitored because it is a good indicator of the effectiveness of the filtration system. High turbidity can hinder the effectiveness of disinfectants. The result in the lowest monthly percentage column of the contaminant table is the lowest monthly percentage of samples meeting the turbidity limits reported in the Monthly Operating Report.

5 Footnote for City of Clearwater: The City of Clearwater began fluoridation of its water in June 2019.

6 Footnote for Tampa Bay Water: For bromate the level detected is the highest running annual average (RAA), computed quarterly of monthly averages of all samples collected. The Level Detected and Range of Results reported were below the MCL.

7 Footnote for Pinellas County Utilities: For chloramines, or chlorine, the level detected is the highest running annual average (RAA), computed quarterly, of monthly averages of all samples collected. The range of results is the highest and lowest result of all the individual samples collected during the past year

8 Footnote for Tampa Bay Water: For chlorine dioxide, the level detected is the highest single daily sample collected at the entrance to the distribution system.

9 Footnote for Tampa Bay Water: The Highest Monthly Average was below the MCLG and the MCL.

10 The monthly TOC removal ratio is the ratio between the actual TOC removal and the TOC rule removal requirements.

11 Footnote for Pinellas County Utilities: The state allows us to monitor for some contaminants less than once per year because the concentrations of these contaminants do not change frequently. This data is from 2017 is still representative though it is more than one year old.

Definitions

ppm (parts per million): One part substance per million parts water (or milligrams per liter).

ppb (parts per billion): One part substance per billion parts water (or micrograms per liter).

pCi/L (picocuries per liter): A measure of radioactivity.

NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units): Measurement of the clarity, or turbidity, of water. Turbidity in excess of 5 NTU is just noticeable to the average person.

AL (Action Level): The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.

MCL (Maximum Contaminant Level): The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology.

MCLG (Maximum Contaminant Level Goal): 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.

MRDL (Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level): The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.

MRDLG (Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal): 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.

NA: Not applicable

ND (Not detected): Indicates that the substance was not found by laboratory analysis.

TT (Treatment Technique): A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

LRAA (Locational Running Annual Average): The average of sample analytical results for samples taken at a particular monitoring location during the previous four calendar quarters.

SMCL (Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level): These standards are developed to protect aesthetic qualities of drinking water and are not health based.

90th %ile: The levels reported for lead and copper represent the 90th percentile of the total number of sites tested. The 90th percentile is equal to or greater than 90% of our lead and copper detections.

Level 1 Assessment: A Level 1 assessment is a study of the water system to identify potential problems and determine (if possible) why total coliform bacteria have been found in our water system.

Level 2 Assessment: A Level 2 assessment is a very detailed study of the water system to identify potential problems and determine (if possible) why an E. coli MCL violation has occurred and/or why total coliform bacteria have been found in our water system on multiple occasions.