City of Savannah Water Resources Department

Georgetown/Gateway System

Water System Number GA0510081

The City of Savannah Water Supply and Treatment department is pleased to report that your drinking water, supplied by the Georgetown/Gateway System, is safe. To learn more about safety regulations and testing, see the table included in this report.

Source

Underground water source
Drinking water for the Georgetown/Gateway System comes from deep underground, from the Floridan Aquifer. It is drawn from wells between 600 and 660 feet deep. In 2019, the Georgetown/Gateway System produced 708 million gallons of groundwater for a population of 15,758.
The City of Savannah has been proactive in protecting this pristine drinking water source through responsible management and a state-approved Wellhead Protection Plan and Water Conservation Plan.

Treatment

Treated water
Water pumped from the Floridan Aquifer is very pure. For treatment, we add a disinfectant during distribution.

Testing

Tested drinking water
In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, the Environmental Protection Agency regulates the amounts of certain substances allowed in public drinking water. The City of Savannah performed over 123,000 tests and procedures, on over 160 water quality parameters in 2019 to ensure that you receive safe, high quality drinking water.

Distribution

Glass of clean drinking water
This clean, safe, drinking water is then distributed to your home. The City of Savannah provides some of the highest quality, most affordable drinking water in the Southeast.

Tap Water Vs. Bottled Water

All sources of drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some substances. All water sources are fed by water that passes over the land or through the ground, dissolving naturally occurring minerals and materials, or picking up substances along the way. These substances may include:

  1. Biological substances from humans, agriculture, or wildlife sources
  2. Inorganic substances from stormwater runoff, industrial sources, or wastewater discharges
  3. Insecticides and herbicides from agriculture, stormwater runoff or residential use
  4. Organic chemicals from industrial or domestic processes, stormwater runoff, or septic systems
  5. Radioactive materials that can be naturally occurring or the result of mining or other human activities

The difference is in how they are regulated. Your tap water is much more stringently regulated – it is tested hundreds of times a month for over 100 different contaminants. Bottled water, on the other hand, is only required to be tested once a week for some substances. Higher levels of at least 13 contaminants are allowed in bottled water than tap water. And tap water providers are required to share their quality in reports such as this one, and to notify the public if a potentially dangerous contaminant is found. Bottled water providers are not required to provide the public with this information.

If you drink the recommended 8 cups of water a day of tap water it will cost you $0.50 a year. The same amount of bottled water will cost $1,400 a year. That's 3000x the price for a less safe product!

Drinking Water Analysis

The City of Savannah Water Laboratory performed more than 123,000 tests and procedures, on over 160 water quality parameters, during 2019 to ensure water quality. The City has met all sampling and reporting requirements.

Substance tested and detected
Chlorine
Fluoride
Total Triahlomethanes (TTHMs)
Total Coliform Bacteria
Toluene
Lead
Copper
Probable Source
Water additive used to control microbes Erosion of natural deposits Byproduct of water chlorination Naturally present in the environment Discharge from petroleum factories Corrosion of household plumbing Corrosion of household plumbing
Amount Detected
1.83 ppm 0.45 ppm 1.4 ppb 2
(Level One Assessment Triggered)
1.7 ppb 1.1 ppb
(90th Percentile)
0.077 ppm
(90th Percentile)
Meets Drinking Water Standards
Maximum Disinfectant Residual Level Goal
The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health.
4 ppm
Maximum Disinfectant Residual Level Allowed
The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for control of microbial contaminants.
4 ppm
Maximum Contaminant Level Goal
The level of contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health, allowing for a margin of safety.
4 ppm 0 ppb 0 1,000 ppb 0 ppb 1.3 ppm
Maximum Contaminant Level Allowed
The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. This level is set as close to the goal as feasible using the best available treatment technology.
4 ppm 100 ppb Presence in >1 monthly sample 1,000 ppb
Action Level
The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.
15 ppb 1.3 ppm
Range of Detection
0.25-1.83 ppm 0.33-0.45 ppm 1.4 ppb Not applicable Not detected - 0.97 ppb No sample greater than action level No sample greater than action level
Units: ppm = part per million or 1 in 1,000,000. ppb = parts per billion or 1 in 1,000,000,000.
Copper and lead are the only two substances monitored at the customer's tap. They were last sampled in 2018.

Coliforms are bacteria that are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other, potentially harmful, waterborne pathogens may be present or that a potential pathway exists through which contamination may enter the drinking water distribution system. We found coliforms indicating the need to look for potential problems in water treatment or distribution. We are required to conduct assessment(s) to identify problems and to correct any problems that were found during these assessments.

During the past year we conducted one Level 1 Assessment. One Level 1 Assessment was completed. In addition, we completed one corrective action.

Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring

HAA5
HAA6Br
HAA9
Bromide
Amount Detected
0.95 ppb 0.86 ppb 1.49 ppb 21.2 ppb
Range of Detection
0.95 ppb 0.86 ppb 1.49 ppb Not detected - 21.2 ppb

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) selected the City of Savannah to participate in the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Regulation 3 (UCMR 3) program. Unregulated contaminants are those for which EPA has not established drinking water standards. The purpose of unregulated contaminant monitoring is to assist EPA in determining the occurrence of unregulated contaminants in drinking water and whether future regulation is warranted.

If you have any questions regarding safe drinking water regulations or these test results, you may contact the City of Savannah Water Supply and Treatment Department at (912) 964-0698

Health Information

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immune-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 healthcare providers.

EPA/Center for Disease control guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risks of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

If 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. The City of Savannah is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing fixtures. 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 have concerns 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 at 1-800-426-4791 or at www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.