The city of Gainesville’s drinking water has once again received a superior rating from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Public Works Director Ron Sellman gave a presentation on the city’s 2019 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report on Tuesday, July 21, during a Gainesville City Council meeting inside the Municipal Building at 200 S. Rusk St.

“Our drinking water meets or exceeds all federal EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] drinking water requirements,” Sellman said. “Also our water system is considered a superior water system. There is approved systems and then there is superior systems so we go a little above and beyond …”

This is at least the 16th year in a row the city has obtained a superior rating, according to city officials and an archived Register report.

Sellman said the city’s water is derived from Moss Lake and the Antlers aquifer.

According to the report, which was mailed out to all water customers, the city had no violations.

The last time the city had a violation was three years ago when high levels of haloacetic acids were detected on two different occasions, according to previous Register reports. Haloacetic acids are a type of disinfection by-product formed when chlorine reacts with natural organic matter in the water.

The city’s water also tested negative each month for fecal coliform bacteria, according to the report.

Sellman noted to council members that the city’s water loss was about 7.29% or 53,496,685 gallons of water.

“Industry standard is about 10%,” he said. “It looks like a lot of water but when you produce close to a billion gallons …”

Councilman Ken Keeler asked Sellman what type of events cause the city to lose water.

Sellman gave an example of a 12-inch water main that split on Weaver Street last week.

“That causes a lot of water loss,” Sellman said. “That water loss alone was probably about a million and a half gallons before we got it shut down. That’s the majority of where we lose water.”

City Manager Barry Sullivan added that some of the water loss also includes firefighting and slow, older meters. Sullivan and Sellman mentioned line flushing requirements, as well.

“Periodically you’ll see us out there just opening up a fire hydrant and letting it run,” Sullivan said. “We’re required to do that. Any dead end line has to be flushed but also we do that to test the fire hydrants as part of a testing program, as well.”

City officials said the amount of water loss reported is typical year-to-year.

“We want to try to get it lower than that,” Sellman said. “So that’s our goal, really, to get it lower.”

There was an opportunity Tuesday for public input on the report but no one spoke for or against it.

Mayor Jim Goldsworthy, Mayor Pro Tem Tommy Moore and councilman Keith Clegg were not present for the meeting.

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