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Wednesday, April 28, 2021
For more than 40 years the American Water Works Association and its members have celebrated Drinking Water Week – a unique opportunity for both water professionals and the communities they serve to recognize the vital role water plays in our daily lives. This year's celebration will be May 2-8, 2021. 

Have you ever stopped to think about how many times a day you use water from a faucet? Drinking water refers to the water that comes out of the tap. Americans use drinking water every day, for many activities such as drinking, bathing, cooking, and washing clothes.  The United States has one of the safest drinking water supplies in the world, and it’s important to know how our water gets to your faucet and what makes it safe to use.

Over the last 100 years, many improvements in the health, success, and lifespan of the U.S. population can be linked to improvements in water quality. Providing safe drinking water was one of the most important public health achievements of the 20th century. Water treatment and disinfection (methods to reduce germs or chemicals that cause illness) has helped ensure access to healthy and safe water for millions of Americans.

Government regulations have helped reduce pollution of the bodies of water that supply our drinking water systems over the years. However, treating water to remove or kill contaminants like germs or chemicals is still critical. Contamination of drinking water can occur at multiple points, including:
  • In the original water source (for example, a river)
  • Through inadequate water treatment
  • In storage tanks
  • In drinking water distribution systems (the pipes that carry water to homes, businesses, schools, and other buildings)
Treating water to remove or kill disease-causing contaminants is critical to public health and the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates drinking water quality in public water systems. Every public water system is required to provide its customers with an annual consumer confidence report (CCR), which provides information on local drinking water quality.

In addition, CDC’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Network has information and data about some of the most common environmental chemicals that may be found in community water supplies.

For more information on Drinking Water Week, click here.

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Thursday, April 08, 2021
Columbus Water Works (CWW) is proud to share our annual report for 2021 “More Than Water.” Our 2021 Annual Report highlights our commitment to providing our community with clean, safe drinking water during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report provides information on CWW’s Combined Sewer Treatment System 25th anniversary, COVID safety protocols for employees and transitioning to virtual programming. Below you will find a short preview of the information within our 2021 Annual Report. 

Combined Sewer Treatment System
The report begins with the celebration of CWW’s Combined Sewer Treatment System 25th anniversary. December 31, 2020 marked the 25th anniversary of Columbus’ investment of more than $100 million to construct a nationally recognized combined sewer treatment system. This system solved the issue of Combined Sewer Treatment Systems into our river and helped revitalize the downtown area. In 2020, the Columbus River Walk was awarded the People’s Choice Award from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. We are proud to be acknowledged for our treatment facilities in our community.

COVID Operational Changes
Next, we discussed the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on our work environment. At Columbus Water Works, COVID-19 guidelines were put in place to protect our staff and our customers. CWW staff practiced social distancing procedures such as maintaining six feet apart while working, limiting the amount of staff in one vicinity and switching to virtual meetings. Every team member was properly temperature checked before entering the building, plexiglass barriers were installed and sanitation stations were placed throughout our offices. In addition, CWW staff were directed to remain at home under quarantine when feeling symptomatic. Our Laboratory Systems team continued to process an average of 8,100 water and wastewater analysis per month establishing properly regulated drinking water for our customers.

Going Virtual
Being a community partner is a responsibility we value. As with many other organizations, CWW had to learn a new approach to hosting community events and programming. In April 2020, we began holding our monthly Board meetings virtually and invited our customers to join us online. In addition, CWW held our annual United Way Campaign, as well as our first Town Hall meetings, virtually on YouTube. Going virtual challenged us to learn new skills that will allow us to become more efficient with our programming and partnerships in the future.

To view this year’s annual report click here.

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