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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, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly persons, and infants can be particularly at risk from infection. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/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, which can be reached by calling 800-426-4791.
The EPA requires regular sampling of the City's water supply to ensure drinking water safety. Each year the Water Department conducts over 20,000 tests for more than 100 different substances. The good news is none of the contaminants that we detected exceed EPA established maximum contaminant levels or resulted in a violation of drinking water standards.
Only a very small percentage of the contaminants tested for exist in our water at detectable levels. The Ohio EPA requires us to monitor for some contaminants less than once per year because the concentrations of these contaminants do not change frequently. Some of the data, though accurate, are more than one year old.
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The Canton Water Department obtains 100% of its water from underground wells. Our wells extend hundreds of feet deep into sand and gravel aquifers that were created long ago by glacial activity. These natural aquifers provide Canton with an average of 24 million gallons of water per day. We have three separate well fields that supply water to our three water treatment plants.
Should the need ever arise, we have several protective backup systems built into our utility that enable us to ensure a dependable flow of drinking water to our consumers. As previously mentioned, Canton has three separate water treatment plants and well fields. If one plant is taken off-line, the other two plants can make up the difference in water production.
The City also has 27 million gallons of drinking water stored in enclosed reservoirs. This quantity represents about one day's supply of water and is kept in reserve as a precautionary measure. Another backup system is the new 2,100 horsepower Caterpillar Diesel generator. This powerful generator can provide enough electrical power to operate our Sugarcreek Plant in the event of a widespread power outage.
We also have two interconnections with the North Canton Water System which are normally kept in a closed position. In an emergency, however, these valves could be opened and potable water supplied to our system or vice versa depending on the need. All of the redundant and overlapping "backup" systems described above ensure that the Canton Water Department can provide a dependable supply of drinking water to all of our consumers.
Contaminants that may be present in source water include: