City of Mercer Island issues annual water quality report

The City of Mercer Island's annual water report was distributed to Island households last week. In it the city lists the regulated substances in water delivered to Island homes and businesses.

Those substances include: barium, chlorine, chromium, fluoride, nitrates and organic carbon. The water is also rated for turbidity – or the cloudiness of the water. Samples of 'delivered water' are also tested for copper and lead. Tests conducted in 2011 for these substances shows that they are within acceptable limits for domestic water supplies.

The water in Mercer Island homes and businesses is purchased from the City of Seattle who maintains a system of reservoirs that serves some 1.3 million people in Seattle and King County.

The City of Mercer Island pays Seattle $1.49 million each year or  approximately $124,000 each month for water.

Utility officials want residents to remember that anything that goes down the drain eventually ends up in the region's water supply.

Items that are sometimes flushed down the toilet can cause sewer back ups or pump breakdowns that may cause systems to overflow and spill. Officials warn that even if items are labeled 'flushable' they are not, and can harm waste disposal systems contributing to breakdowns, increased maintenance and worse, overflows.

Other serious problems for sewer systems are grease and oils, and certain foods such as ice cream or butter that people wash down drains.

Other items that people dispose of such as medications or health and beauty items such as lotions, cosmetics and house cleaning supplies, can also cause problems.

Utility officials say that some of these items do not biodegrade and may stay in the environment for years.

To learn more, visit the City's water quality page on it's website.


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