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Drinking Water: There’s More to Safe Water than Turning the Tap

Nov. 7, 2016

By D’yani Wood

Elevated drinking water tank in West Valley City
Elevated drinking water tank in West Valley City

Water is a source of life. It only takes one twist of a knob to turn on the sink faucet or the shower, a few button presses to wash your clothes, all with clean water. But it would only take one little dangerous microorganism in that drinking water to make it lethal.

Clean water does not magically appear. It is not as simple as running a pipe from a water source to your home. The systems in place providing us with clean drinking water are complex, and they are constantly in motion to safeguard you and maintain a steady supply of safe water for all of us to drink and use.

When I started here at the Division of Drinking Water, I, like most of us, knew nothing about the process of providing safe and clean drinking water to pretty much every human in our country. I had a general idea that it was complicated, but I didn’t know about the effort that so many hardworking people put in to ensure we can all drink our water without fear of becoming sick.

Large drinking water pipes at Point of the Mountain treatent plant
J4 flow at Point of the Mountain treatment plant

At the Division of Drinking Water, we make sure all water systems throughout the state are keeping their water safe and maintaining their systems in a way that prevents accidents and contamination. I specifically work in Field Services and help with the Operator and Backflow Certification programs. A water system, depending on the population size of the area served, is required to have a Certified Operator oversee the process of providing safe water from deep inside the earth to your home.

When I process a certification exam, I know I am helping to ensure our water systems will have one more knowledgeable person looking over everything and solving problems that may arise before they can affect public health. When I enter continuing education unit (CEU) courses into our database, I know I am helping keep track of vital trainings that have educated our operators on the most recent technology or safety advancements in the industry. When I process a certification renewal application, I am helping the operators keep up on that continual learning process, making sure they have gone to enough trainings over the past three years to keep their certification current and their knowledge up-to-date.

Slow sand filter is part of the drinking water treatment . Stockton, Utah.
Slow sand filter, Stockton, Utah

I myself studied and became certified once I saw the complexities of running a water system and how knowing more about the process would help me do my job even better.

All the little aspects of my job have now painted a picture for me, and I no longer think that clean water comes out of faucets like magic. It requires the technical expertise of many people working together, it requires a lot of equipment and planning, it requires a lot of attention, a lot of water sampling, and a lot of hard work.

Every time I turn on a faucet, I don’t take that water for granted. I now understand the distance each drop had to travel, and the amount of time and energy it took to get it to me in a clean, safe, and drinkable form.

Want to know more about the quality of your drinking water? Check out your system’s consumer confidence report (CCR), an annual report each community water system must provide its customers, on our Waterlink webpage.
D'yani Wood

I have experience with, and a love for, graphic design, which means I like to mess with how things look and the ease in which things can be understood and communicated visually. Working with computers and technology comes naturally to me. I am currently a writer for PlayStationLifeStyle.net where I get to review games and sometimes contribute to other articles, meaning I love writing and creating. My husband is Senior Editor of the site as well, which means we are both serious video game hobbyists. Along with video games, I consume as much media as I can in the form of TV shows, movies, and books. I have three cats in keeping with my lifelong love for animals. I am originally from Boise, Idaho, but I’m loving my life in Utah. I’m excited to work in the Division of Drinking Water and generate new ideas to help communication, efficiency, and productivity at any turn in the road.

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