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Water Quality Report 2019

LaFollette Utilities
Water Quality Report 2019

Water Quality ReportIs my drinking water safe?

Yes, our water meets all EPA and State standards. We conduct tests for over 80 contaminants that may be in drinking water. As you will see in the chart, most contaminants are below detectable limits and those that are detectable are at safe levels. Test results used for this report are from 2014 through 2019, as noted. Other contaminants have been tested prior to this test period and have been at safe low levels or non-detectable levels and are not shown on this report.

Is our water system meeting other rules that govern our operations?

The State and EPA require us to test and report our water quality on a regular basis to ensure its safety. We have always met all of these requirements.

We want you to know that we pay attention to all the rules.

How can I get involved?

The LaFollette Utilities Board normally meets on the last Monday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the LaFollette Utilities building.  For information on Board workshops and meetings, contact Regina Kennedy at 423-562-3316, ext. 1013 or

For more information about your drinking water, please call Joe Bolinger at (423) 562-7875 or Bryan Gipson at (423) 562-3316, ext. 1010.

Water Quality Data Test Results
Contaminant Violation Y/N   Level    Detected Unit Measurement MCLG MCL Likely Source of Contaminant


Total Coliform Bacteria 2019 N 1    0 Presence of coliform bacteria in 5% of monthly samples

Naturally present in the environment


(Jan - Dec 2019)


0.06 - 0.24 NTU

0.24 high

Average 0.12


Soil runoff

Cryptosporidium - 2018 N Average 0 - Range 0 00 cysts/L    

Microbial parasite found in surface water

Giardia - 2017 N 0 cysts/L    

Microbial parasite found in surface water

Asbestos - 2011 N 0 MFL 7 7 Decay of asbestos cement water mains; erosion of natural deposits
Barium (3/9/11) N 0.032 ppm 2 2 Discharge of drilling waste; erosion of natural deposits
Sulfate (3/9/11) N 30 ppm 5 250 ppm Discharge of drilling wastes; discharge from metal refineries; erosion of natural deposits
*Copper - (07/2018) N 10.9 - 797   

 240 90th percentile

ppb 1300 AL=1300 ppb Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits; leaching from wood preservatives
Fluoride - 2019 N 0.57 - 1.01

average 0.71

ppm 4 4 Erosion of natural deposits; water additive which promotes strong teeth; discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories
**Lead - (07/2018) N 0.5 - 4.5    

1.98  90th percentile

ppb 0 AL=15 ppb Corrosion of household plumbing systems, erosion of natural deposits
Nitrate (as Nitrogen)                 


N 0.318 mg/L 10 10 Runoff from fertilizer use; leaching from septic tanks, sewage; erosion of natural deposits
TTHM [(Total trihalomethanes) 2019 N 22.9 - 65.8  Level detected 41.9 ppb 0 80 ppb By-product of drinking water chlorination
HAA5 (total haloacetic acids) 2019 N 31 - 57.5

Level detected 45.9

ppb 0 60 ppb By-product of drinking water chlorination.  Some people who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous systems, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.
Total Organic Carbons (TOC) 2019 N .083 - 1.28

Average 1.08

ppm <2.0 mg/L <2.0 ppm or meet required % removal Naturally present in all waters formed by disinfectant reacting with natural and man-made chemicals


Chlorine - 2019 N Average 2.0
0.3 - 3.1 range
ppm MRDLG 4 MRDL 4 Water additive used to control microbes
Radioactive Contaminants
Gross Alpha (1/26/15) N 1.5 pCi/L N/A 15 pCi/L Erosion of natural deposits
Combined Radium 226 and 228 N 0.4 pCi/L N/A 5 pCi/L Erosion of natural deposits

*100% of copper samples were below AL of 1300 ppb

**100% of lead samples were below AL of 15 ppb

***During the most recent round of lead and copper testing, 0 out of 30 households sampled contained concentrations exceeding the action level.

  • We met the treatment technique for turbidity with 98% of monthly samples below the turbidity limit of 0.3 NTU
  • We met the treatment technique requirement for Total Organic Carbon in 2019

What does the chart mean?

Turbidity:  Turbidity does not present any risk to your health. We monitor turbidity, which is a measure of the cloudiness of water, because it is a good indicator that our filtration system is functioning properly.


MCLG:   Maximum Contaminant Level Goal, or the level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health.  MCLG’s allow for a margin of safety.

MCL:       Maximum Contaminant Level, or the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water.  MCL’s are set as close to the MCLG’s as feasible using the best available treatment technology.

ppb: parts per billion or micrograms per liter (example:  one penny in $10,000,000)

ppm: parts per million or milligrams per liter (example: one penny in $10,000)

N/A: not applicable

AL: Action Level, or the concentration of a contaminant which, when exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which water system must follow

TT: Treatment Technique, or a required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water

pCi: pico Curies per liter

MFL: Milliliter fibers per liter

NTU: Nephelometric Turbidity Unit

MRDLG:Maximum residual disinfection level goal.  The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health.  MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.

MRDLMaximum residual disinfectant level.  The highest level  of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water.  There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for the control of microbial contaminants. 

Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM)Some people who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous systems, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

Lead in Drinking WaterIf present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children.  Lead in  drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing.  LaFollette Utilities is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components.  When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking.  If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested.  Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water hotline or at

About the data:  Most of the data presented in the table are from testing done between 1/1/19—12/31/19.  We monitor for some contaminants less than once per year, and for those contaminants, the date of the last sample is shown in the table.

Why are there contaminants in my 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 water poses a health risk.  More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

The sources of drinking water (both tap water 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:

· Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.

· Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or result from urban stormwater runoff, industrial, or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.

· Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban stormwater runoff, and residential uses.

· Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems.

· Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally-occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.


In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation prescribe regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems.  FDA regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health.


Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water

Flushing unused or expired medicines can be harmful to your drinking water.  Learn more about disposing of unused medicines at:


Results of Monitoring for Unregulated Contaminants

Contaminant                                     Analysis Result


January 2019                                7.65 mg/L


Although sodium is not regulated by the State or Federal government, LUB tests for this contaminant.


Do I need to take special precautions?

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 and infants, can be particularly at risk from infections.  These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.  EPA/CDC guidelines concerning appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbiological contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).


What is the source of my water?

Your water, which is surface water, comes from Norris Lake.  Our goal is to protect our water from contaminants and we are working with the State to determine the vulnerability of our water source to potential contamination.  The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has prepared a Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP) Report for the untreated water sources serving this water system.  The SWAP Report assesses the susceptibility of untreated water sources to potential  contamination.  To ensure safe drinking water, all public water systems treat and routinely test their water.  Water sources have been rated as reasonably susceptible (high), moderately susceptible (moderate) or slightly susceptible (low) based on geologic factors and human activities in the vicinity of the water source.  The LaFollette Water System sources rated as slightly susceptible to potential contamination.


An explanation of Tennessee’s Source Water Assessment summaries, susceptibility scorings and the overall TDEC report to EPA can be viewed online at or you may contact the Water System to obtain copies of specific assessments.