FAQ about Water
Can pregnant women drink chloraminated water?
Yes. It is safe to use chloraminated water in cleaning an open wound because virtually no
water actually enters the bloodstream that way.
Can you safely water plants, vegetables or fruit and nut trees with chloraminated water?
Yes. The small amount of chloramines in the water should have no effect on plants of any type.
Chloramine Public Notice March 7, 2007
For many years, public water systems have added Chloramines to drinking water as a primary or secondary disinfectant. This is because of concerns of formation of disinfection by-product as the result of using free chlorine. The City of Shawnee is conducting a pilot study to evaluate the viability of using Chloramines as post oxidant...
Chloramine Public Notice
For many years, public water systems have added Chloramines to drinking water as a primary or secondary disinfectant. This is because of concerns of formation of disinfection by-product as the result of using free chlorine. The City of Shawnee is conducting a pilot study to evaluate the viability of using Chloramines as post oxidant. Please accept this notice as your 30 days notification (Pursuant to OAC 252:631-3-3(d)(1)), that Chlorine Dioxide/ Chloramines disinfectants will be used in the City of Shawnee water system and that these disinfectants could affect certain activities:
Hemodialysis: A potentially serious problem arises when tap water containing chloramines is used in hemodialysis (artificial kidney machines). Chloramines pass through the dialysis membrane and their toxicity to patients under dialysis conditions is undisputed (Eaton ct al. 1973). Chlorine Dioxide and its by-products may have similar effects. Operators of dialysis centers know that tap water must be treated before use in dialysis.
The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation has proposed a limit of 0.1 mg/L for chloramines in hemodialysis water. It is imperative that dialysis centers and users of home dialysis systems to be aware that chlorine dioxide/chloramines will be used in the City of Shawnee water system and that treatment is necessary to remove these parameters from hemodialysis water. The types of controls available to users include carbon filtration and reverse osmosis or chemical reduction. Other substances in tap water besides chloramines are also known to interfere with dialysis. These include copper, fluoride, sulfate, nitrate zinc and aluminum.
Fish tanks and fisheries: The toxicity of chloramines to fish is well-known. Most breeders and owners of tropical or other aquarium fish know that tap water should not be used in aquaria without proper treatment and aging. Yet, a number of cases of aquarium fish being killed by chloramines in tap water have been reported, particularly when conversion between disinfection methods has occurred at the treatment plant. Since chloramines are more persistent than free chlorine (which is also toxic to fish), treatment and aging of water to be used in aquaria is more critical when chloramines are present. Suggested action for fish fanciers, breeders, or pet shop owners includes the use of activated carbon filters. Care needs to be taken to replace filter cartridges before breakthrough can occur.
Do I need to buy a water softener?
Some companies sell ''water softeners'' to reduce the hardness of the water. The softener's purpose is to improve the aesthetics or ''feel'' of the water. Hard water contains high concentration of calcium compounds. The calcium in the water can deposit on faucets and shower curtains as a heavy white residue (which is most easily cleaned with a rag soaked in vinegar). Shawnee's drinking water hardness fluctuates throughout the year between 75 to 100 parts per million or 4.3 to 6.0 grains per gallon (one grain per gallon equals 17.24 parts per million). Water is considered ''hard water'' above 250 parts per million. Therefore, residents on Shawnee's water supply have soft water, and do not need a softener. By the way, even hard water is fine to use and drink without a softener.
How do I know that my water is safe to drink?
Shawnee Water Treatment Plant has trained laboratory technicians and uses the service of the ODEQ Environmental Services Laboratory to analyze the quality of the water. Personnel from the lab monitor water quality at the water plant and at homes and businesses around the city to make sure that the water is safe to drink. Sampling and analysis is done continually throughout the year to make certain that the water meets or exceeds all E.P.A. and ODEQ quality standards
How much fluoride is added to the water?
Currently we do not add flouride to the water.
If chloramines are harmful to fish, how can people safely drink the water?
Chloraminated water is no different than chlorinated water for all of the normal uses we have for water. Water that contains chloramines is totally safe to drink. The digestive process neutralizes the chloramines before they reach the bloodstream. Even kidney patients can drink and bathe in chloraminated water.
What about the 2012 Yield Study?
In 2011-2012 the City of Shawnee (City) contracted with CDM Smith to evaluate its three municipal water supply reservoirs: Twin Lakes #1 and #2 (collectively called Twin Lakes) and Wes Watkins Reservoir. The primary purpose of this project is to establish the expected water supply capacity from each reservoir when operated individually and when operated as part of a complete water supply system. Other project tasks included evaluation of each reservoir's watershed and development of drought management plan. This report documents the methods and results of the hydrologic assessment and provides recommendations for future actions.
For the purpose of this study, firm yield is defined as the average daily withdrawal from a water supply system that can be sustained through the available record of inflows without entirely depleting the system storage. The available record of inflows (1953 to 2011) includes the drought of record which is defined as the period July 1954 to April 1957. This analysis was conducted in accordance with the guidelines established in the 2012 update to the Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan (OCWP). Hydrologic estimates of streamflow for both of the ungaged contributing watersheds within the system were generated using transposition by area ratio method and a dynamic simulation model was used to simulate the drawdown and recovery of the multiple reservoirs.
The firm yield estimates for the Twin Lakes (in this study, Twin Lake #1 and Twin Lake #2 were modeled as a single reservoir with two connected volumes as described in Section 6.1) and Wes Watkins are presented in Table 1. The table lists the firm yield of the reservoirs operating individually, and also conjunctively, in the preferred operating mode of balancing water surface elevation and constraining withdrawals to permit allowances.
Read more about the study:
The City of Shawnee (City) contracted with CDM Smith to evaluate its three municipal water supply reservoirs: Twin Lakes #1 and #2 (collectively called Twin Lakes) and Wes Watkins Reservoir. The primary purpose of this project is to establish the expected water supply capacity from each reservoir when operated individually and when operated as part of a complete water supply system.
What about water rationing?
Water conservation and rationing falls under the ordinance passed on April 17th, 2006. The ordinance provides the City Manager with authorization and direction to declare the emergency and authorize rationing as needed. The water conservation plan as outlined in this ordinance can be viewed on the Drought Management Plan below this question
Drought Management Plan
As Citizens of the City of Shawnee, we must be constantly aware of our water needs and that there are times when it is necessary to conserve water. Prudent use of this essential natural resource is the responsibility of every citizen. We must all take voluntary steps to conserve our water than this must be reinforced each summer when the need for water becomes the greatest.
Many people believe that the changes involved with water conservation will somehow diminish their lifestyle. Following are some actions that we can take individually to conserve and reduce our water needs and expense. Many are simple onetime adjustments. Others involve simple changes in habits:
- One can save about three gallons of water if the water is not allowed to run when brushing teeth or shaving.
- Low-flow devices placed in faucets and showers can save two to three gallons of water for each minute of use.
- Running the washing machine with a full load will save thirty gallons of water each time a small load was held.
- Prudent water of plants and lawns is another example. Watering during the heat of the day is wasteful and detrimental to lawns. Allowing water to run off lawns into the street not only wastes this precious resource, but causes pavement to deteriorate as well.
Water conservation actions must be inherent in our daily lives with added emphasis during the summertime so that we voluntarily utilize only the potable water necessary for our daily needs.
In addition to the above voluntary conservations measures, the following is established as the conservation plan for the City of Shawnee as established:
"If a shortage occurs in the city water system, the city manager is authorized and directed to declare an emergency. The city manager is authorized to issue a proclamation proclaiming such an emergency and establishing the level of water usage restrictions as follows:"
At Elevation 1066, 46% storage remaining = 19,825 AcFt= 6,459,976,250 Gal.
At 3.5 mgd* use that would be 1,845 days supply.
*million gallons per day
It is important to be constantly aware of water needs and understand that there are times when it is necessary to conserve water. Prudent use of this essential natural resource is the
responsibility of every citizen. We must all take voluntary steps to conserve our water and this must be reinforced each summer, when the need for water becomes the greatest.
Voluntary restrictions are requested from all customers year round regardless of the demand or lake levels as a permanent conservation measure and include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Turn off the tap while shaving or brushing teeth.
- Showers use less water than baths.
- Plug up the sink or use a wash basin if washing dishes by hand.
- Use a dishwasher, and, when you do, make sure it is fully loaded.
- Keep a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water gets cool.
- Wash only full loads of laundry or use appropriate water level or load size selection on washing machine.
- When replacing fixtures, look for water saving features that include the EPA WaterSense endorsements.
They will have the WaterSense Logo:
Voluntarily limit outdoor watering to the Level 1 odd/even schedule or voluntarily water at most 3 days a week.
- For more water saving tips go to – www.shawneeok.org or www.epa.gov/watersense
- For lawn watering information and calculation estimates go to http://sip.mesonet.org
- For more information contact the Water Treatment Plant Supervisor at 405-273-0890
Level 1 – Mandatory Restrictions
At Elevation 1060, 29% storage remaining = 12,527 AcFt= 4,081,922,950 Gal.
At 3.5 mgd* use that would be 1,166 days supply.
*million gallons per day
Level 1 Mandatory Restrictions begin when Twin Lakes reaches an elevation of 1060 – 1988 National American Vertical Datum- (NAVD 88) feet and the average weekly water treatment plant production exceeds 6.0 mgd. It is assumed that Wes Watkins remains at an elevation of 1062 feet. Mandatory restrictions include the following:
Residential Outside water usage restricted to 7:00 pm to 10:00 am on the odd/even system defined as odd-numbered houses utilizing water on Monday and Thursday and even-numbered houses utilizing water on Tuesday and Friday during the above hours.
Commercial: Outside water usage restricted in the same manner as residential customers
Level 2 – Mandatory Restrictions
Level 2 Mandatory Restrictions begin when Twin Lakes reaches an elevation of 1059 (NAVD 88) feet and/or the average weekly water treatment plant production exceeds 6.5 mgd. It is assumed that Wes Watkins remains at an elevation of 1062 feet. Mandatory restrictions include the following:
- Residential Outside water usage restricted to 7:00 pm to midnight on the odd/even system defined as odd-numbered houses utilizing water on Monday and Thursday even-numbered houses utilizing water on Tuesday and Friday during the above hours.
- Outside water usage restricted in the same manner as residential customers as well as these additional measures:
- Commercial car washes to employ best management practices.
- Restaurants: serve water only upon request.
- Lodging: Have signage in rooms reflecting; Change linens every 3 days for multiple night guests unless otherwise requested by guest.
Other:Consider whether to start the process of obtaining permission to draw below recreational level in Wes Watkins Reservoir.
- Power washing or spraying of water for washing impervious surfaces prohibited in this level.
Note, during Level 2 Mandatory Restrictions, it may be necessary to make withdrawals from the Wes Watkins recreational pool, after receiving appropriate approvals
Level 3 – Mandatory Restrictions
At Elevation 1058, 25% storage remaining = 10,902 AcF= 3,552,416,700 Gal.
At 3.5 mgd* use that would be 1,015 days supply.
*million gallons per day; the calculation assumes that Wes Watkins remains at elevation 1062 feet
Level 3 Mandatory Restrictions begin when Twin Lakes reaches an elevation of 1058 (NAVD 88) feet and/or the average weekly water treatment plant production exceeds 4.5 mgd. Mandatory restrictions include the following:
Residential, other than household purposes: Outside water usage restricted to 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm on the odd/even system defined as odd-numbered houses utilizing water on Monday and even-numbered houses utilizing water on Friday during the above hours. Water usage is limited to handheld watering with shutoff nozzle of shrubs and young trees only.
Commercial: Outside water usage restricted in the same manner as residential customers as well as well as Level 2 Commercial restrictions with these additional measures:
- Other: Lawn watering, refilling or adding water to public and private swimming pools and automobile washing forbidden.
- Installation of new sod, seeding, and landscaping prohibited.
- Filling and operation of non-recirculating fountains and decorative water features prohibited.
- Filling of outdoor and indoor pools and hot tubs prohibited.
- Washing automobiles at non-commercial facilities prohibited.
Note, during Level 3 Mandatory Restrictions, it may be necessary to make withdrawals from the Wes Watkins recreational pool, after receiving appropriate approvals
Level 4 – Mandatory Restrictions
At Elevation 1057, 23% storage remaining = 10,160 AcFt= 3,310,636,000 Gal.
At 3.5 mgd* use that would be 946 days supply.
*million gallons per day; the calculation assumes that Wes Watkins remains at elevation1062 feet
Level 4 Mandatory Restrictions begin when Twin Lakes reaches an elevation of 1057 (NAVD 88) feet and the average weekly WTP production exceeds 4 mgd. Mandatory restrictions include the following:
- Residential: There will be no usage authorized, other than for indoor household purposes.
- Commercial: Outside water usage restricted in the same manner as residential customers as well as Level 2 and Level 3 Commercial restrictions with these additional measures:
- Prohibit use of water for construction purposes.
- All vehicle washing prohibited.
- Other: Lawn watering, refilling or adding water to public and private swimming pools and automobile washing forbidden.
Note, during Level 4 Mandatory Restrictions, it may be necessary to make withdrawals from the Wes Watkins recreational pool, after receiving appropriate approvals.
This plan is not designed to place any individual or firm under any undue hardship but rather to ensure that the City of Shawnee has water for domestic uses available throughout the year to its citizens. It is hoped that no more than steps one or two would ever be required. It is necessary, however, to have a plan in place that will permit everyone to be aware of the necessary precautions to ensure that water for domestic use is available in the City of Shawnee.
The City Code, Section 26-67 (b) (4), provides for penalties for violation of a proclamation proclaiming a water emergency:
Any person violating any provision of the proclamation, upon conviction, shall be fined as follows:
(i) First Violation - Warning
(ii) Second Violation - $150.00 fine plus costs
(iii) Third Violation - $250.00 fine plus costs
(iv) Fourth and Subsequent Violation - $500.00 fine plus costs
In addition to such penalties, the water, sewer, and garbage services furnished by the City to such person who violates any of the provisions of such proclamation shall be subject to suspension summarily and without notice.
What are Chloramines?
Chloramines, also known as combined chlorine, are a combination of chlorine and ammonia compounds which are used to kill potentially harmful bacteria in water.
What are the major benefits associated with chloramination?
Better disinfection in the remote areas of the water system, therefore making the water safer to drink. Chloramines greatly reduce objectionable taste and odor in the water. Chloramines have been found to be very effective at reducing levels of by-products that are normally formed with free chlorine.
What do I do if my water does not flow?
If your water unexpectedly stops, there may be a break in the underground line near your house. Crews can he reached 24 hours a day to fix broken water lines. During business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. contact Line Maintenance at 273-1960. After hours contact the Water Treatment Plant at 273-0890. Crews will be sent to repair the line.
What is the metal content of the water?
Shawnee water is surprisingly low in dissolved metals. The lake water contains negligible amounts (much less than 100 parts per billion) of Silver, Arsenic, Barium, Beryllium, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Mercury, Nickel, Lead, Thallium, Selenium, and Antimony. Small amounts (less than 5 parts per million) of naturally occurring Aluminum, Iron, Manganese Sodium, and Zinc are also present in the lake water. The treatment process removes nearly all of these metals from the drinking water. The metals content in the drinking water is always in compliance with E.P.A. guidelines.
What special precautions should fish owners take with chloraminated water?
Chloramines are toxic to fish, reptiles, turtles and amphibians, just as chlorine is toxic and must be removed. Chloramines can be removed from the water by using a water conditioner containing a dechlorinator or by using granular activated carbon.
What special precautions should kidney dialysis patients take with chloraminated water?
Chlorine and chloramines must be removed from the water used in kidney dialysis machines. There are two methods to accomplish this, by adding ascorbic acid or by using granular activated carbon treatment. Medical centers that perform dialysis are responsible for purifying the water that enters the dialysis machines. Dialysis systems already pre-treat their source water to remove chlorine. However some modifications may be necessary to remove the chloramines.
Where do I find the Consumer Confidence Reports for each year?
The Consumer Confidence Reports (CCR) are published as provided from the Utility division on the Publications and Presentations page of the Water/Wastewater system.
Questions about the quality of water in the City of Shawnee? The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) requires public water suppliers that serve the same people year round (community water systems) to provide consumer confidence reports (CCR) to their customers. These reports are also known as annual water quality reports or drinking water quality reports.
The CCR summarizes information regarding sources used (i.e., rivers, lakes, reservoirs, or aquifers) any detected contaminants, compliance and educational information. The reports are due to customers by July 1st of each year.
Below are the Water Quality Reports for the City of Shawnee.
Federal Law requires the following information be included with all CCR Reports: If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. Shawnee Municipal Authority is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. 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 are concerned 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 or at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead
Water Quality Report 2015 (Reset Year)
Water Quality Report 2015
Water Quality Report 2014
Water Quality Report 2013
Water Quality Report 2012
Water Quality Report 2011
Water Quality Report 2010
Water Quality Report 2009
Water Quality Report 2008
Water Quality Report 2006
Water Quality Report 2005
Water Quality Report 2004
Water Quality Report 2003
Water Quality Report 2002
Water Quality Report 2001
Water Quality Report 2000
Water Quality Report 1999
Where does my water come from?
All of Shawnee’s water comes from the Shawnee Twin Lakes and Wes Watkins Reservoir. It flows by gravity from the lakes to the water treatment plant where it undergoes aggressive treatment to remove all particulates and is chlorinated to destroy any pathogens. The water is then pumped to water towers around the city and it flows by gravity to your home. The water treatment plant can treat 8.7 million gallons per day to replenish water as it is used by residents, businesses and industries.
Why are chloramines a problem for kidney dialysis patients and aquarium owners?
Chloramines are harmful when they go directly into the bloodstream. In the dialysis process, water comes in contact with the blood across a permeable membrane. Chloramines in dialysis water would be toxic, just as chlorine in dialysis water would be toxic. Fish also take chloramines directly into their bloodstreams.
Why does my water sometime taste or smell like swimming pool water
Chlorine is added to the drinking water as a disinfectant (required by Federal Law). The amount added is only enough to ensure that the water at your house is free of bacteria and parasites. Usually, this amount is about 1 milligram of chlorine for each liter of water (1 part chlorine per million parts of water). A slight chlorine odor or no odor indicates that the chlorine is working properly as a disinfectant. Some customers buy sink filters to remove the chlorine for taste reasons. This is fine, but do not let the filtered water set too long since it no longer has its disinfecting abilities.
Why does my water sometimes look brown?
Brown water occurs when normal sediments in the water lines become agitated. Agitation can occur when the lines are turned off for repairs or when a line breaks. The brown color is from iron (rust) particles that come off the pipes with age. Although it is undesirable, the water is safe to drink. The color can stain white clothes in the washing machine. Try to eliminate the brown color by running your cold water for 15 to 20 minutes (run from an outside faucet). If the color does not go away, contact line maintenance and they will send a worker out to flush the brown water out of the lines at a nearby fire hydrant.
Why does my water sometimes look ''milky'' or ''cloudy''?
Cloudy water is usually the result of dissolved air in the water lines. Air may be introduced into the lines as a result of line repairs or fire hydrant operations. This condition is usually temporary, although it may take several hours for the air to dissipate in the lines. To check if the cloudy water is due to dissolved air, fill a glass with water and leave it on a counter for a few minutes. The water should become clear again. Cloudy water of this type is safe to use.
Will chloramines be removed by boiling the water?
No. Boiling is not an effective method of removing chloramines from water.
Will chloramines dissipate, or dissolve, out of the water?
No. Unlike chlorine, which dissipates when water sits for a few days, chloramines may take weeks to dissipate.
Will there be any noticeable changes with chloraminated water?
When the chloraminated water first flushes out the chlorinated water there may be a slight taste and odor, and possibly discoloration for a short period of time. This will not compromise the safety of the water. Try running your water taps for a few minutes to flush it out.