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As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and, in some cases, 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 assure tap water is safe to drink, EPA has regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health.
All 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. However, 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 small amounts of contamination. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. 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. In addition, EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by microbiological contaminants are also available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline.
The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. Our source is surface water from Lakes Hamilton and Ricks We have two water treatment plants: Lakeside and Ouachita. The Lakeside Plant treats surface water from Lake Ricks. The Ouachita Plant treats surface water from Lake Hamilton.
The Arkansas Department of Health has completed a Source Water Vulnerability Assessment for City of Hot Springs. The assessment summarizes the potential for contamination of our sources of drinking water and can be used as a basis for developing a source water protection plan. Based on the various criteria of the assessment, our water sources have been determined to have a low to high susceptibility to contamination. You may request a summary of the Source Water Vulnerability Assessment from our office.
Cryptosporidium is a microbial pathogen found in surface water throughout the U.S. It lives and reproduces only with the host. In the environment, Cryptosporidium exists as a thick walled oocyst, containing four organisms. Monitoring by Hot Springs Water Department in 2019 indicated no oocysts in the proposed Lake Ouachita Intake that is being considered for construction. It is important to know that although filtration removes Cryptosporidium, the most commonly used filtration methods cannot guarantee 100 percent removal. Ingestion of Cryptosporidium may cause cryptosporidiosis, an abdominal infection. Symptoms of infection include nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Most healthy individuals can overcome the disease within a few weeks. However, immuno-compromised people are at greater risk of developing life threatening illness. We encourage immuno-compromised individuals to consult their doctor regarding appropriate precautions to take to avoid infection. Cryptosporidium must be ingested to cause disease, and it may be spread through means other than 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. We are 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 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 or at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.
If you have any questions about this report or concerning your water utility, contact Cody Howell, Water Production Facilities Manager, at 501-767-4888. We want our valued customers to be informed about their water utility. If you want to learn more, please visit our website www.cityhs.net. We hold regular meetings on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 PM at the Hot Springs City Hall Board of Chambers. Contact Cody Howell if you have any questions.
Emergency Services: 501-321-6200
Customer Service: 501-321-6880
Emergency Service: 501-623-5621
If you need your water turned off because you have a leak or need to make repairs, call 501-623-5621. Available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.