By Jennifer Nations, Water Services Program Coordinator
“There’s nothing in your household that you pay less for that has a greater impact on your quality of life than tap water.”
When I heard that at a conference a couple of years ago, I understood what “mic drop moment” meant.
College Station is among the many fortunate communities with reliable access to safe water when they turn on the tap. As National Drinking Water Week closes, let’s take a closer look at this most precious resource.
With recent extreme weather events such as Winter Storm Uri, droughts, and hurricanes, many Texans are concerned about water availability and quality. After all, we rely on high-quality tap water for health, hydration, and hygiene, among multiple other uses.
A 2021 Gallup survey found that 56% of respondents worried a great deal about the pollution of drinking water, and 53% expressed similar concerns about polluted lakes, rivers, and reservoirs – all of which are drinking water sources for millions. At the same time, a 2021 study by the American Water Works Association revealed more than seven in 10 respondents are satisfied with their tap water, and nearly three-quarters feel their tap water is safe.
So, is there a disconnect here? Not exactly.
The safety and reliability of most of our nation’s water supplies can be primarily attributed to the regular testing required to ensure regulatory standards for quality. Test results are published in annual consumer confidence reports detailing what was detected in the water, when, and how much. College Station’s latest report will be released later this summer.
Water professionals work every day to ensure safe drinking water and plan for the resiliency of water and wastewater treatment systems. It may be an engineer designing a capital project — such as the water line under construction along Highway 6 or the new water tower next to Baylor Scott & White Hospital. Or it can be a technician taking a chlorine sample or a crew repairing a pipe break. Whatever the situation may be, a water professional is working behind the scenes to ensure water is there when you need it.
That’s a big reason why this year’s National Drinking Water Week theme is “There When You Need It.” And, of course, you have our water operators to thank for that.
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