• 70°

City water earns a perfect score

The city’s water supply has come a long way since the 2017 boil water crisis. In January of that year, thousands of customers were forced to boil drinking water due to unsafe levels of E. coli and total coliform bacteria.

While that was a single event and not indicative of the overall health of the water system, it was not handled particularly well by city officials.

But a recent report from the state Department of Health shows that the city’s water system is as close to perfect as it can be. The city scored a 5 out of 5 following an annual inspection that took place this summer.

“The system has made several improvements since the time of the last inspection and should be commended for their efforts,” inspector Lee Fancher said.

“That’s what every city is shooting for,” Ralph Augimeri with Mitchell Technical Services Inc., which manages the city’s water system, said. “That means everything is 100 percent and it meets all the health department requirements. They want to make sure all of those are meeting all of the requirements for all of those operating units. They look at every individual step. We have to have everything correct.”

It should be reassuring for city residents to know their water supply is safe. It does not mean another boil water event won’t take place, but it means the city and its contractor are doing everything required by the state.

We often take clean drinking water for granted, but getting it clean and keeping it that way is a complicated, expensive process. We are grateful that the city has made water quality a priority.