Aug 31, 2020

Missouri's Drinking Water Source Sees Third Year Without Drinking Water Violations

Missouri’s drinking water source has been clean for the past three years.

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According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Moberly, Missouri’s drinking water source, Sugar Creek Lake, has been clean for the past three years.

“It’s a really good feeling, and it’s what we strive for everyday,” said Public Utilities Director Mary West-Calcagno. “Not just to not have any violations, but to continuously improve the quality of the water and maximize the treatment as much as we can with the equipment we have.”

The city's public utilities department will continue looking at ways it can limit the amount of disinfection byproducts, which end up in the city’s drinking water, reported the Moberly Monitor-Index.

DNR’s 2019 annual water quality report was released earlier this summer. A 2016 violation in Sugar Creek Lake was caused by high levels trihalomethane, a disinfection byproduct, which was over the local running annual average. At one sample point there was an average of 84 parts per billion (ppb) of byproducts, exceeding the maximum contamination level of 80 ppb.

“With the organic level in Sugar Creek Lake, we are looking at maximizing our organic removal at the water plan to minimize those reactions,” West-Calcagno said. “We are trying some pilot tests with a different chemical to remove those organics and provide better water chemistry.”

The highest level of trihalomethane found in the lake in 2019 was 51 ppb. 

The city’s drinking water has consistently seen low levels of lead over the past few years, according to the Moberly Monitor-Index. The lead levels are expected to decrease further in coming years because of the department’s new meters. 

West-Calcagno is working with the city, the University of Missouri Extension, DNR and other community groups and members to work on the Source Water Protection Plan. The Source Water Protection Plan is meant to address the gradual decline in water quantity and quality in Sugar Creek Lake.

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