Carmel is fortunate because it has some of the purest ground water in the state. The City of Carmel Water Treatment plant is responsible for ensuring that the city's ground water is filtered, softened and disinfected before it leaves the treatment plant.
Questions concerning water quality, water testing, water pressure, water leaks, backflow prevention and utility specifications for new water installations, please contact this office.
Water Treatment Process
The following three-step treatment process is used by Carmel Utilities to prepare clean water for its customers:
- Iron Removed - The water treatment plant aerates the water to oxidize the soluble iron found naturally in well water. The oxidized iron adheres to itself forming clumps that are filtered out of the water by iron filters.
- Water Softened - Carmel Utilities provides an added benefit to its water customers. It softens the water before it reaches their homes and businesses, eliminating the need to purchase and maintain expensive water softeners. From the iron filters the water enters an underground storage tank prior to being pumped to the softeners. The water is softened using zeolite softeners similar to a home water softener. Because complete soft water may be corrosive to pipes in the distribution system and homes and businesses, part of the water bypasses the softener and is blended to give a nominal hardness (five grains hard is typical).
- Chlorine and Fluoride Added - Chlorine is added to destroy any harmful bacteria present and to maintain a level of protection as the water travels through the distribution system. Fluoride is added to help strengthen resistance to cavities in teeth. Following the injection of chlorine and fluoride, the water enters the distribution system to be delivered to Carmel's homes and businesses.
Water Contaminants Before Treatment
The sources of drinking water (tap and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals, and in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity. Contaminants that may be present in source water include:
- Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria;
- Inorganic contaminants, such as salts, metals and minerals;
- Pesticides and herbicides;
- Organic chemicals from industrial or petroleum use;
- Radioactive materials
In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prescribes regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Food and Drug Administration regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water that must provide the same protection for public health.
The Bottom Line
The results in the table indicate that Carmel Utilities treated water exceeds the quality parameters set forth by the EPA. Although the contaminants listed have appeared in our water samples, this should not alarm you. The contaminants are at levels well below the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) issued by the EPA and do not pose a threat to most consumers. However, some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population.
Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, persons with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791.
You are welcome to call Carmel Utilities at (317) 733-2855 with questions about your water quality. Lead levels at your home may be higher than at other homes in the community as a result of materials used in your home's plumbing. Infants and young children are typically more vulnerable to lead in drinking water than the general population. If you are concerned about the elevated lead levels in your home's water, you may wish to have your water tested and flush your tap for 30 seconds to two minutes before using tap water.
Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants, including lead, and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791.