We’ll drink to that: Melbourne water quality up to standards

Don’t worry, you can drink the water.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) says a notice informing City of Melbourne water customers that a sample collected for bromate in April, later deemed unacceptable, should not be confused with a water quality violation.

Last month 57,190 notices were sent to both residential and commercial water customers informing them that monitoring requirements were not met for the month of April 2018.

Dee Ann Miller of the FDEP says the contract laboratory submitted its report on May 10, 2018, and after review by staff, it was determined that the lab was not meeting the required Method Detection Limit (MDL).

“This means that the laboratory equipment could not read as low as required by the EPA,” Miller said. “This notice is with regard to a reporting/monitoring issue resulting from a laboratory error, not a water quality standard violation.”

Because the report wasn’t submitted until May, a new sample could not be collected for the month.

Miller says the No. 1 priority for the department is to make sure drinking water systems are being properly monitored and any concerns are identified and corrected as quickly as possible.

“The department works diligently with public water systems to monitor drinking water and ensure drinking water is safe to drink,” Miller said. “DEP does this by reviewing data supplied to the department by drinking water systems and certified drinking water laboratories to confirm that drinking water standards are met. In addition to reviewing monitoring data, the department ensures that sampling requirements are being met by regulated facilities.”

Cheryl Mall, public information officer for the City of Melbourne, says the samples for the months prior to, and since, the April sample were accepted.

“We send water samples to a contract laboratory every month to test for bromate, as well as many other compounds,” Mall said. “These samples have consistently come back with bromate being below maximum contaminant levels.”

A different quality control violation occurred in February 2017. Mall says this was due to lab controls that did not meet “drinking water” matrix standards for the bromate analyte of 80-120%. The lab reported the samples as a “water” matrix which only needs to meet the standards of 70-130%. “Water” matrix is considered non-potable waters.

Again, samples in the months preceding and after February were acceptable.

The City of Melbourne – whose service area includes Melbourne, Melbourne Beach, Indialantic, Indian Harbour Beach, Satellite Beach, Palm Shores, Melbourne Village and a portion of Brevard County – is no longer using the same lab to conduct their monthly tests.

Article by:  Jennifer Torres, correspondent

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