FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A letter included with Forsyth County water/sewage bills that will begin to hit mailboxes soon will include a somewhat alarming sounding letter, but county officials say residents shouldn’t be worried about water quality.
Tim Perkins, director of the county’s Water and Sewer Department, said a county will send out a letter outlining a county infringement of Georgia Environmental Protection Division regulations, a “failure to monitor” violation.
The county is required to sample the system’s water 120 times per month for bacteria and report those results, Perkins said. In one month of the EPD’s most recent review of the Forsyth water department, only 119 samples were recorded, resulting in the monitoring violation.
The issue was an oversight, Perkins said, and all 119 samples were all negative and the county water was completely safe. To prevent another occurrence of under-reporting, Perkins said the county will increase its testing to 125 samples per month which will be reviewed by three employees.
As the county sets out to quell any worries about its water quality that stems from the letter, it also wants to avoid having customers drawing conclusions the testing violation is connected to some residents complaining their had a foul taste and odor.
“There is no relationship between the two,” Perkins told Commissioners during their Oct. 13 work session. He said it was simply a case of “bad timing.”
In August, the county put out two notices related to residents reporting an odd smell or taste or cloudy appearance to their water.
The county said higher levels of Methylisoborneol and geosmin, which are produced by blue-green algae, were being shown in Lake Lanier and likely the culprit of the earthy, musty taste and smell of the water some residents were getting from the tap. The increase of the two substances was likely due to lake “turn over” related to seasonal changes.
The statement said the compounds are not harmful, but their taste and odor is not easily removed by traditional treatment techniques.
Some residents also reported cloudy or milky water, which was caused by the county flushing its system by opening fire hydrants to allow large amounts of water to pass through, and the odd appearance is caused by air in the system.