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City Continues to Provide Safe, Reliable Drinking Water – Even During Construction

In another year of challenges to provide the city with safe and reliable drinking water, Rockville’s water once again met or exceeded all federal water quality regulations limits, the city’s Department of Public Works said in the Annual Drinking Water Quality Report released July 1.

The city’s water treatment plant, on the banks of the Potomac River, serves 70% of Rockville, or approximately 13,000 accounts and 52,000 community members. The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission serves the remainder of the city.

The city conducted lead and copper testing during summer 2021 and found that Rockville’s drinking water remains in compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules for acceptable levels of lead and copper.

Plant operators actively monitor water quality to ensure protective levels of chlorine and corrosion control, which prevents lead and copper in distribution pipes from leaching into drinking water. For their efforts, 2021 was the eighth consecutive year that plant operators received the Directors Award for voluntary participation in the Partnership for Safe Water.

“The award recognizes the competence of the city’s water plant operators and their desire to go beyond regulatory standards to achieve the highest water quality for Rockville’s water customers,” Craig L. Simoneau, the city’s director of public works, said in a letter introducing the report. “This requires considerable effort by the operational staff of the water plant. It is the staff’s expertise, dedication and passion that make this award possible.”

In recent months, plant operators have maintained round-the-clock operations to produce an uninterrupted flow of quality water despite challenging working conditions. A project to upgrade the water treatment plant began in late 2021, requiring plant operators to move their daily workspace to corridors and other more confined areas of the plant as construction noise and activities swirled around them. The upgrades, which are expected to continue into early 2023, are replacing aged electrical equipment and workspaces dating to the plant’s opening in 1958, as well as the main building’s roof and HVAC system.

To learn more about the source and quality of Rockville’s drinking water, visit www.rockvillemd.gov/annualwaterquality2022.

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Rockville Reports is the official publication of the City of Rockville, published at City Hall, 111 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850-2364.

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