City of Savannah Water Resources Department

Savannah Main System

Water System Number GA0510003

The City of Savannah Water Supply and Treatment department is pleased to report that your drinking water, supplied by the Savannah Main System, meets all state and federal requirements. To learn more about safety regulations and testing, see the table included in this report.

Source

Creek and aquifer water source
Your drinking water from the Savannah Main System comes from two sources. Even though most water supplied is groundwater from the Floridan Aquifer, 28.5% was drawn from Abercorn Creek in 2023. Abercorn Creek is a tributary of the Savannah River located in Effingham County. The blending of Abercorn Creek water with Floridan Aquifer water was necessary to meet current demand and protect the aquifer from increasing saltwater intrusion. In 2023, the Savannah Main System supplied 5.5 billion gallons of groundwater and 1.4 billion gallons of surface water to a population of 130,865. As our region continues to grow, Savannah will rely more on water from Abercorn Creek.

Treatment

Treated water

The Floridan Aquifer is a source of drinking water for many people in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. In our area, the only treatment required is the addition of a disinfectant prior to distribution. Fluoride is also added to promote dental health.

In the surface water treatment process, alum and polymer are added to the water to cause fine mud particles to clump together and settle out of the water. The clear water is then filtered, disinfected with chlorine and ammonia, and balanced for pH and corrosiveness with lime and phosphate.

Testing

Tested drinking water
The Environmental Protection Agency regulates the amounts of certain substances allowed in public drinking water. The City of Savannah performed over 143,000 tests and procedures, on over 160 water quality parameters in 2023.

Distribution

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

Protecting the Source

Source Water Assessment Plan: In 2002, the City of Savannah completed a Source Water Assessment Plan (SWAP) for Abercorn Creek, a tributary of the Savannah River. In 2019, a full update was completed. The purpose of updating the SWAP was to identify new potential contamination sources throughout the watershed and to determine the risks these sources pose to the water supply. Due to the rapid turnover of forest land to warehousing, the City completed a partial update in 2022. The overall contaminant susceptibility for Abercorn Creek is now MEDIUM HIGH. This is an increase from the 2002 report rating of LOW and the 2019 rating of MEDIUM. Some Potential Pollution Sources (PPS) include: commercial and industrial developments, the number of pipe and road stream crossings, and sewer lift stations and pipelines. A complete list of all PPS, their substances of concern and the assessment methods are in the SWAP and available to the public on the City of Savannah\'s Water Resources page.

In order to protect our drinking water supplies, the City has joined a collaboration of people interested in protecting the quality of the Savannah River for future generations and keeping drinking water affordable. The collaboration includes representatives from five water utilities in Georgia and South Carolina. It also includes representatives from the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities, The Nature Conservancy, The Georgia Conservancy, and Savannah Riverkeeper. For more information please contact Laura Walker, Water Resources Environmental Manager at (912) 651-2221 or via email.

Drinking Water Analysis

The City has met all sampling and reporting requirements. This data was collected from January through December 2023.

Substance tested and detected
Chlorine
Fluoride
Total Triahlomethanes (TTHMs)
Total Haloacetic Acids (THAAs)
Total Organic Carbon
Total Coliform Bacteria
Turbidity
Lead
Copper
Arsenic
Probable Source
Water additive used to control microbes Erosion of natural deposits, water additive to promote strong teeth Byproduct of water chlorination Byproduct of water chlorination Naturally present in the environment Naturally present in the environment Soil runoff Corrosion of household plumbing Corrosion of household plumbing Erosion of natural deposits, runoff from orchards, runoff from glass and electronics production wastes
Amount Detected
2.07 ppm 1.26 ppm 64 ppb 54 ppb 35-50%
(Removal Required)
2.3% of monthly samples 99% of samples were below 0.3 NTU 2.3 ppb
(90th Percentile)
0.075 ppm
(90th Percentile)
6 ppb
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 ppb Not applicable 0% of monthly samples 0 NTU 0 ppb 1.3 ppm 0 ppb
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 80 ppb 60 ppb Treatment technique 5% of monthly samples Treatment technique = 1 NTU or 95% of samples < 0.3 NTU 10 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 Detected During Reporting Year
0-2.07 ppm 0.05-1.26 ppm Not detected - 64 ppb Not detected - 54 ppb 36.36-68.38% Removal Not applicable Not applicable 1 sample greater than action level No sample greater than action level Not detected - 6 ppb
Units: ppm = part per million or 1 in 1,000,000. ppb = parts per billion or 1 in 1,000,000,000. NTU = Nephelometric turbidity units.
Treatment Technique: A required treatment technique or process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.
Copper and lead are the only two substances monitored at the customer's tap. They were last sampled in 2022.
Total Organic Carbon removal compliance is based on an annual average.
Numbers reported for Triahlomethanes and Haloacetic Acids are for individual samples. Compliance is determined by annual average.

Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring

Manganese
Bromide
Total Organic Carbon
HAA5
HAA6Br
HAA9
Amount Detected
11 ppb 34.3 ppb 6,400 ppb 47.4 ppb 8.56 ppb 55.96 ppb
Range Detected During Reporting Year
8-11 ppb 20.6-34.3 ppb 3,170-6,400 ppb 0.61-47.4 ppb 0.31-8.56 ppb 0.92-55.96 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.

Unregulated contaminants were last sampled in 2020.

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

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.

Exposure to lead in drinking water can cause serious health effects in all age groups. Infants and children can have decreases in IQ and attention span. Lead exposure can lead to new learning and behavior problems or exacerbate existing learning and behavior problems. The children of women who are exposed to lead before or during pregnancy can have increased risk of these adverse health effects. Adults can have increased risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney or nervous system problems.

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. Information is also available on our Water & Lead page.