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D.C. Water Report Highlights Methods Used To Purify Water

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The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority released a positive assessment of the District's water quality June 21.
The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority released a positive assessment of the District's water quality June 21.

The report, released June 21, found that levels of certain compounds were "extraordinarily low," but also noted that water quality can vary throughout the city.

The quality of D.C. tap water begins in a treatment plant in Georgetown. There, it undergoes a multi-step process of sedimentation and filtration designed to remove some of the more obvious contaminants.

DC Water General Manager George Hawkins says that's just the start.

"There's also very intensive filtration systems and chlorination of the water, and disinfectant systems, so theirs is a whole series of treatments, and steps that the water goes through, coming from the Potomac prior to us purchasing it and distributing it around the city," he says.

Back in 2004, an increase of lead in D.C. tap water shook trust in the city's water system. Although the problem was corrected, some residents like Mattie Hayes are still a bit cautious.

"Just cause I wouldn't trust it," she says. "If I didn't see it in print on the label on a little bottle I just wouldn't trust it as much."

The report calls the District's tap water "safe, reliable and affordable." A copy of the report will be sent to every household in the District.

DC Drinking Water Quality Report 2010

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