Customers of Dothan Utilities consume safe drinking water, according to test results sent to media outlets recently.

The “Drinking Water Quality Report,” which is mailed to DU customers each year, evaluated the city’s 28 water sources (33 wells) and revealed known contaminants, or constituents, in the city's water fell well below allowable thresholds.

The numbers reflect an average of all the tests collected at each of the 28 water sources, said Lindsay McDonald, an engineer with Dothan Utilities. The report also contains the range of highest and lowest amounts for the constituents, revealing no extreme or unsafe amounts were determined in each of the tests, she added.

The city tests for some contaminants, like bacteria-based pollutants, weekly. Regulators require testing for some other contaminants – like disinfectant byproducts and corrosion monitoring – once a year.

Several of the constituents are only monitored every three years as regulations require, McDonald said. Dothan Utilities just completed testing for one of those categories, inorganic contaminants, and the results revealed essentially no change and nothing close to the maximum contaminant levels allowed, she added.

According to the report, the system provides an average of 12.1 million gallons of water per day from its wells – below the capacity of 32 million gallons per day. The system pumped 4.4 billion gallons of water in 2018.

Tackling red water:  The report also noted the city injects chlorine into the system to protect against bacteria, fluoride to prevent dental diseases, and phosphate to reduce “red water” issues. Red water is present in some neighborhoods since iron flakes off antiquated pipes.

Though red water is considered safe to consume, city commissioners voted late last year to provide an additional $1 million per year for projects removing antiquated pipes. With a total budget of $1.6 million per year, DU staffers have planned and/or initiated three projects for 2019 so far.

On Tuesday, the Dothan City Commission voted to replace about 1.35 miles of pipe in areas along Whiddon, Montana, Choctaw, Linden, Tacoma, Alice, and Lena streets. This follows previously approved projects that will address red water issues in the area of Booker, Newton, Monroe, Parker, Hutchins, and Carver streets, and Bayshore and Tuskegee avenues.

That initiative is expected to start in a few weeks, according to an email from DU engineer Hank Mosley.

One other project has reached its final design stages – an effort that will replace 3,108 linear feet of water mains along Evergreen and Victoria avenues and Whatley Drive.

Committee review: This week’s installment takes a look at the Dothan Housing Authority board, which makes local decisions regarding the government-subsidized housing complexes and Section 8 housing in Dothan. Board members serve five-year terms, and the Dothan mayor appoints each of the members, according to the City of Dothan website.

Board members currently serving are David Jamison, Sheila Lee, Jeff Williams, Lisa Kelly, Susan Morrison, Precious Freeman, and Michael Jackson. DHA board meetings are scheduled for the second Wednesday of each month.

Meeting schedule:  Next week, the Houston County Commission will meet at 10 a.m. Monday and will discuss a request to add two more school resource officers to the Houston County Schools system. It meets on the third floor of the Houston County Administration Building.

The commission reconvenes Monday at 1 p.m. on the HCAB’s sixth floor to discuss the 2020 fiscal year budget.

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