2023 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report

2023 ANNUAL
Drinking Water
Quality Report

11900 East Terry St.
Bonita Springs
Florida 34135

239-992-0711
800-583-1496

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THE COMPANY AND OUR MISSION

Bonita Springs Utilities, Inc. (BSU) is a not-for-profit water and wastewater cooperative. In 1970, the need for better quality water drove local residents to form BSU and begin to provide central water service to homes and businesses in the area. BSU has grown along with the City of Bonita Springs and the Village of Estero and now provides water and wastewater service to a population of approximately 75,000. We are dedicated to providing a quality, reliable potable water supply and wastewater treatment, emphasizing responsible protection of our resources at the most effective cost to all members. We are proud to continue to earn the community’s trust as your locally owned and operated utility.

This report, required by law, provides data about the quality of the water supplied by BSU during 2023. BSU welcomes the opportunity to share this information with you. It’s important that you know where our water comes from, what it contains and the risks that our water treatment is designed to prevent. The board of directors and staff of Bonita Springs Utilities, Inc. are pleased to report that our drinking water meets all federal and state requirements.

OUR WATER SOURCE

Our drinking water comes from two wellfields each tapping into two underground aquifers. Nineteen wells, approximately 100 feet deep, draw water from the Lower Tamiami Aquifer and supply our lime-softening water treatment plant. Fifteen wells, at a depth of 800 to 1,000 feet, draw water from the more brackish Upper Floridan Aquifer to supply our reverse-osmosis water treatment plant.

In 2023, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) performed a Source Water Assessment on our system as part of its Source Water Assessment and Protection Program (SWAPP). The assessment provides information about potential sources of contamination in the vicinity of our wells. Eleven potential sources of contamination, with low susceptibility levels, were identified. It should be noted that the potential sources of contamination identified by this assessment project are just that: potential sources. BSU facilities are regulated and operate under stringent construction and maintenance requirements designed to protect both human health and the environment.

The assessment results are available on the FDEP SWAPP website at https://prodapps.dep.state.fl.us/swapp/ or they can be obtained by calling BSU Operations Director Andy Koebel at 239-992-0711.

WATER TREATMENT PROCESSES

Our drinking water is a blend of two treatment processes. The lime-softening process includes hydrogen sulfide removal, hardness reduction, filtration and chlorination. The reverse-osmosis process includes membrane treatment, degasification and chlorination. Each process includes a corrosion inhibitor to help prevent corrosion in the plumbing of our customers’ homes and businesses.

IF YOU’D LIKE TO KNOW MORE…

Bonita Springs Utilities, Inc. is a member-owned utility. We want you, our members and customers, to be informed about your water quality. Our Board of Directors meets at 5:00 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month and public input is welcome. If you have questions about this report or your water utility, you may also contact the Director of Operations, Andy Koebel, at 239-992-0711.

BSU routinely monitors for contaminants in your drinking water according to Federal and State laws, rules, and regulations. Except where indicated otherwise, this report is based on the results of our monitoring for the period of January 1 through December 31, 2022. Data obtained before January 1, 2022, and presented in this report are from the most recent testing done in accordance with the laws, rules, and regulations.

TERMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

In the table below, you may find unfamiliar terms and abbreviations. To help you better understand these terms, we’ve provided the following definitions:

Maximum Contaminant Level or MCL:

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

Maximum Contaminant Level Goal or MCLG:

The level of contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.

AN EXPLANATION:

MCLs are set at very stringent levels. To understand the possible health effects described for many regulated contaminants, a person would have to drink two liters of water a day at the MCL for a lifetime to have a one-in-a-million chance of having the described health effect.

Action Level (AL):

The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements that a water system must follow.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level or MRDL:

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.

Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level Goal or MRDLG:

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.

Parts per billion (ppb) or Micrograms per liter (ug/l):

One part by weight of analyte to 1 billion parts by weight of the water sample (One part per billion is the equivalent of one cent in $10,000,000).

Parts per million (ppm) or Milligrams per liter (mg/l):

One part by weight of analyte to 1 million parts by weight of water sample (One part per million is the equivalent of one cent in $10,000).

Picocurie per liter (pCi/L):

Measure of the radioactivity in water.

Treatment Technique (TT):

A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

Non-Secondary Contaminants Table

Inorganic Contaminants

Contaminant and Unit of Measurement Dates of Sampling (mo/yr) MCL Violation Y/N Level Detected Range of Results MCLG MCL Likely Source of Contamination
Barium (ppm)  02/23 0.0047 ppm  0.0047 ppm  2 ppm  2 ppm  Discharge of drilling wastes; discharge from metal refineries; erosion of natural deposits
Fluoride (ppm)  02/23 N 0.23 ppm  0.23 ppm  4 ppm  4 ppm  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
Nitrate (as Nitrogen) [ppm]  02/23 0.07 ppm 0.07 ppm 10 ppm 10 ppm Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks; sewage; erosion of natural deposits
Nitrite (as Nitrogen) [ppm]  02/23 0.01 ppm  0.01 ppm  1 ppm  1 ppm Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks; sewage; erosion of natural deposits
Sodium [ppm]  02/23 83.1 ppm  83.1 ppm  N/A  160 Leaching from ore processing sites; discharge from electronics, glass, and drug factories.

STAGE 1: Disinfectants and Disinfection By-Products

Disinfectant or Contaminant and Unit of Measurement Dates of Sampling (mo/yr) MCL or MRDL Violation Y/N Level Detected Range of Results MCLG or MRDLG MCL or MRDL Likely Source of Contamination
Chlorine and Chloramines (ppm)* 01/23-12/23 N 3.26 ppm 0.6 - 4.1 ppm MRDLG = 4 MRDL = 4.0 ppm Water additive used to control microbes

*BSU conducted a free chlorine flush during 5/23. The results shown include both chloramine and chlorine results.

STAGE 2: Disinfectants and Disinfection By-Products

Disinfectant or Contaminant and Unit of Measurement Dates of Sampling (mo/yr) MCL or MRDL Violation Y/N Level Detected Range of Results MCLG or MRDLG MCL or MRDL Likely Source of Contamination
Haloacetic Acids HAA5 (ppb) 2/8/23, 5/30/23, 8/10/23, 11/8/23 N 25.8 17.2 - 30 ppb N/A 60 ppb By-product of drinking water disinfection
Total Trihalomethanes THHM (ppb) 2/8/23, 5/30/23, 8/10/23, 11/8/23 N 41.5 29.1 - 53 ppb N/A 80 ppb By-product of drinking water disinfection

Lead and Copper (Tap Water)

Contaminant and Unit of Measurement Dates of Sampling (mo/yr) AL Exceeded Y/N 90th Percentile Result No. of sampling sites exceeding the AL MCLG AL (Action Level) Likely Source of Contamination
Copper (tap water) (ppm) 07/23 - 08/23 N 0.070 0 1.3 1.3 Corrosion of household plumbing systems, erosion of natural deposits, leaching from wood preservatives
Lead (tap water)** (ppb) 07/23 - 08/23 N 2.1 0 0 15 Corrosion of household plumbing systems, erosion of natural deposits

**Lead – 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. Bonita Springs Utilities, Inc. is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in home 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 two 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.

2023-2024
BOARD OF DIRECTORS

President

Brian Farrar

Vice President

Wayne Bauman

Secretary

Vincent Marchesani

Treasurer

Richard Garner

Paul J. Attwood
Robert Bachman
Lawrence Kosilla
Mike Malloy
James Murphy

CONTAMINANTS

The sources of drinking water (both tap and bottled) 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:

(A) Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations and wildlife.

(B) 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.

(C) Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff and residential uses.

(D) 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 system.

(E) Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

To ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the 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 heath.

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 1-800-426-4791.

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, can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their healthcare providers. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbiological contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (1-800-426-4791).

Note: Bonita Springs Utilities, Inc. is not required to test for the unregulated contaminant Cryptosporidium because our source water is from wells, not surface waters.

IN CONCLUSION

Water supply sustainability and good water quality are central to our mission at BSU. This is of particular concern in fast-growing Southwest Florida. Since 2004, diversification into reverse-osmosis (RO) is helping to preserve and protect water quality in the shallow aquifer that feeds our lime-softening treatment plant. In 2023, we expect to complete a four million gallon per day expansion of the RO plant to increase supply and operational reliability. Our two water treatment plants are currently permitted to produce up to 17 million gallons per day of water for our customers.

In 2016, and again in 2022, the Florida Section American Water Works Association (FSAWWA) judged BSU’s water the best-tasting in the three-county region. BSU’s Water Distribution Department has won the FSAWWA Outstanding Water Distribution System award nine out of the last 13 years. Both the Water Plant and Distribution Departments won a Safety Commendation from the Florida Water & Pollution Control Operators Association “For Leadership, Promotion, Service and Performance rendered through an outstanding Safety Program for 2013”. The utility also won the FWPCOA “2018 Utility of the Year” award “for our outstanding safety record.”

As our population grows, demand for water will continue to increase. Our responsibility is to provide quality water to every tap. We ask you to do your part to conserve and protect our valuable water resources for present and future generations.