Each year the City of Annapolis Department of Public Works provides the Water Quality Report to its customers. This report is intended to inform you about the quality of water and service we deliver to you every day.
Lead & Copper Rules
With the recent water situation in Flint, Michigan, there is significant concern about the presence of lead in drinking water. Lead released into the environment makes its way into the air, soils, and water. Lead can remain in the environment indefinitely. Children and pregnant women are particularly susceptible to the health effects of lead poisoning.
Lead can occur in tap water, and when detected, it usually comes from older home plumbing or lead service pipes. Generally, high levels of lead in drinking water are caused by two factors, both of which must be present. The first is the presence of lead pipes as mentioned above. Unlike Flint, lead service pipes are rare in Annapolis. The second factor is the corrosivity of the drinking water. When the City of Flint changed their drinking water source, they did not adequately adjust their water treatment to ensure that the water wasn't corrosive.
Corrosive water encourages the dissolving of lead in the pipes, leading to high concentrations of lead in the water. The City's water treatment plant has a proactive corrosion control program to minimize lead leaching from plumbing materials. Every 3 years, the City of Annapolis takes water samples from 30 representative homes in the City. The sampling and testing is done in accordance with the requirements of EPA's Lead and Copper Rule. The test results are used to determine if the corrosion control program is working. The test results have consistently shown that the corrosion control program keeps lead levels to a minimum.
For 2014, our most recent Lead and Copper Rule sampling and testing, lead was not detected in any of the samples. Monthly sampling and testing is also performed in the distribution system to determine if adjustments are required at the water treatment plant to prevent the water from being corrosive.
The City of Annapolis is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in residential plumbing systems. It is the homeowner's responsibility to maintain, repair and replace the water service lines from the water meter to the home. Homeowners can minimize lead exposure when water has been sitting for several hours in the home's pipes by flushing the system. Residents can flush the system by letting water run for at least 30 seconds before using water for drinking or cooking.
Contact the EPA
Anyone concerned about lead exposure in drinking water, may wish to have the system tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps to minimize exposure is available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791, or online.
Water Saving Tips
Here are some tips to help you save water:
- Minimize use of kitchen sink garbage disposals. They require lots of water to operate. Start a compost pile as an alternate method to dispose of food waste, which will also give a boost to your garden.
- In the garden and yard: Water during the early parts of the day. Avoid watering when it's windy. Water your lawn only when it needs it. When sprinkling, place an empty tuna can in the yard; when full, turn off the water. Add organic matter and use efficient watering systems for shrubs, flower beds and lawns. Plant drought-resistant shrubs and plants.
- Replacing an 18-liter flush toilet with an ultra-low volume 6-liter model provides 70% savings in water flushed and cuts indoor water use by about 30%.
- Washing a sidewalk or driveway with a hose uses about 50 gallons of water every 5 minutes. As much as 150 gallons of water can be saved when washing a car by turning the hose off between rinses. Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks.
- Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for full loads only. In most cases, pre-rinsing dishes is not necessary. With clothes washers, avoid the permanent press cycle; it uses an extra 5 gallons of water for an extra rinse. Replace old clothes washers with new Energy Star rated washers using 35 - 50% less water and 50% less energy. Are you in the market for a new clothes washer? Consider a water-saving front load model.
- Watch how much water you use when doing dishes, brushing teeth, showering and washing your car.
- Fix leaks. A faucet that drips can waste up to 3,280 gallons a year.
- Reuse water when you can: A bucket in the shower can catch water for plants or clean-up jobs.
- Save energy by using less hot water.
- If your water heater is not insulated, an insulation blanket can save you energy and money. Insulate the pipes surrounding it too.
- When running the water for it to heat it up, run it into a container and use for watering plants.
- Instead of running the tap to get water cold, keep water in the fridge.
- Wash cars on the grass to avoid sending pollution into storm drains and use a shut-off nozzle and wash your car in small sections.
- Save rain water: Learn how to make a rain garden.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers several ways to conserve water. Here are a few: