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Kingsport's water gets hearty thumbs-up

May 29th, 2014 8:40 pm by Matthew Lane

Kingsport's water gets hearty thumbs-up

KINGSPORT — Kingsport's water is not only good, it's great.

This is the message from Kingsport's water department and the 2014 water quality report recently sent out to customers.

"We have had no violations and we're very fortunate and blessed with a good source of water," said Niki Ensor, Kingsport's water/wastewater facilities manager.

The 2014 Water Quality Report went out to the 34,600 households currently served with water service by the city of Kingsport. The report includes information on the source of Kingsport's water, the types of materials and minerals found in the water, and the main contaminants tested for by the water department every year.

The testing information is from the 2013 calendar year.

Kingsport draws its water — between 13 million and 14 million gallons daily — from the South Fork of the Holston River. The facility has the ability to treat 28 million gallons of water each day. Kingsport also has 22 water tanks with a storage capacity of 18 million gallons, 19 major pumping stations and 826 miles of water mains.

The water plant monitors more than 80 regulated contaminants every year, including the presence of copper, lead, sodium and nitrate. According to the report, none of the contaminants found in Kingsport's treated water violated Environmental Protection Agency levels.

Kingsport's water plant uses five main processes in treating its water — coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, filtration and chlorination — before it's pumped out to the customers. Chlorine is used to disinfect the water to keep bacteria from growing.

This marks the fifth year Kingsport's water plant has received the Directors Award from the Partnership for Safe Water Program. The award is given to systems that treat water above and beyond the EPA standard with additional sampling and record keeping.

Kingsport currently is in the middle of a $15 million upgrade to the intake system with plans to drill an 8-foot-wide flooded tunnel from the river, underneath the river level to the water plant.

For more on this story, read Friday's print edition of the Kingsport Times-News or the expanded electronic edition.

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