May 6-12 is national Drinking Water Week, a time to appreciate the high quality water found throughout most of the Palmetto State. Jennifer Satterthwaite, communications coordinator for the Columbia Water Works, says while the city has two excellent sources of water, Lake Murray and the Columbia Canal, many people don’t realize that what they use on land, such as use certain fertilizers, automobile oil or pet waste, can find its way via stormwater runoff into the water supply. Fortunately, Water Works Superintendent Clint Shealy says the city does more than it’s required to to keep its water supply clean and safe.
There are three elements to quality water, he explains: the source, the treatment and the delivery system, because one can have the world’s best water leaving the treatment plant, but if that quality is not maintained all the way to the customer’s tap, then it’s all for nothing. Fortunately, the state’s cities take their water treatment seriously, and experts are already looking a decade down the road to anticipate future contaminants and making plans to deal with them. Though water is cleaner in South Carolina than in many countries around the world, Shealy said it’s not something to be taken for granted. So enjoy your water this week, and realize there are people behind it looking out for your safety.