Water System Sanitary Survey Perfect Scores

For the third consecutive time, the Jackson Energy Authority has earned perfect scores for both the JEA water system and Mercer water system. The survey, conducted by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Division of Water Resources, is an unannounced onsite review by TDEC inspectors that audit and evaluate every facet of the water system in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Sanitary Survey Manual. During the survey, TDEC inspectors not only perform an extensive review of records, leak repair, training, and certification, but also conduct real-time water sampling. It’s an important component of the Safe Drinking Water Act Public Water System Supervision Program and occurs at least every two years.

“Protecting, treating, and delivering reliable, high quality drinking water requires a great deal of unseen operational activities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” said Eddie O’Neill, Water/Wastewater Operations Manager. “The work is often tedious, but we have a great team of employees dedicated to maintaining high standards. It’s an honor to be recognized by the state for our hard work and professionalism.” O’Neill commented.

The sanitary survey reviews the complete operation of the water utility, focusing on eight areas necessary to continually provide safe drinking water: source water, treatment, distribution and cross-connection control, finished water storage, pump facilities, monitoring and reporting, management and operation, and operator compliance. It’s designed to ensure the delivery of reliable, safe drinking water to the public.

Monte Cooper, President and CEO, credits the perfect scores to the dedicated work of the employees, their vast knowledge of the water system operations, and their work expertise.

Steve Raper, Senior Vice President of the Water Division, added, “It’s a big accomplishment to achieve a perfect score at some point, but to achieve that perfect score for the last three surveys is major. These surveys are extremely detailed and to earn perfect scores for both water systems consecutively is something very few water utilities ever achieve. We’re proud of our results.”

Included in the audit and evaluation are the Annual Drinking Water Quality Reports for both systems. The annual report, also known as the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR), contains a summary of results from thousands of tests for specific contaminants, unregulated monitoring data, and other drinking water information. The reports are distributed to customers annually and are available online at www.jaxenergy.com/jeaccr. Printed copies of the reports can be requested by calling the water quality lab at 731-422-7545 or by visiting one of the JEA Customer Centers.

To get more water quality information, visit the EPA website at www.epa.gov/safewater or call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.