1Where does Winter Springs’ water come from?
Winter Springs’ drinking water comes from the Floridan Aquifer System, which lies underground and supplies most of Florida’s water. The Floridan aquifer system is one of the most productive aquifers in the world and supplies fresh and clean water.
2Is Winter Springs water safe to drink?
Yes, Winter Springs’ tap water is safe to drink! Winter Springs takes water quality very seriously. We closely monitor and sample our water as it is pumped from the aquifer. Drinking water is regularly tested for quality at multiple points along the way to your tap — and it always meets purity standards set by the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act designed to ensure safe drinking water for the public.
3What testing, monitoring or oversight process ensures the quality of our drinking water?
a. Winter Springs drinking water undergoes a multi-step purification process. Before it reaches residents and businesses, groundwater is purified using aeration and liquid chlorine, a normal and commonly-used method of the water purification process. Aeration rapidly pushes a large amount of air through the system and filters out certain compounds from the water, which is then treated with chlorine to ensure that clean, pure water is delivered to your tap. Both aeration and chlorination are common, proven water treatment methods and are standard throughout the country.
b. Winter Springs also uses state-of-the-art technology called the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system which allows trained engineers to monitor all stages of the water purification process. SCADA gathers information through a comprehensive network of sophisticated sensors which optimizes water purification, making real-time adjustments based on demand and flow. SCADA is also designed to alert water technicians to any anomalies or issues that require attention. Highly trained technicians also conduct routine, manual tests to ensure that your drinking water meets or surpasses all state and federal regulations. Residents and visitors can continue to enjoy Winter Springs water knowing that it is tested regularly and consistently surpasses the highest quality standards.
4Are drinking water and wastewater systems connected?
No. In fact, Winter Springs wastewater and drinking water systems operate completely independent of each other. Drinking water is treated at three Water Treatment Plants utilizing dedicated treatment systems and distribution pumps. Drinking water is distributed through a network of dedicated piping to deliver water to homes and businesses throughout the city. Wastewater, on the other hand, is collected, rather than distributed. The water you use to flush toilets, shower and wash your dishes runs down the drain in your home or business and is collected in the city’s sewer system. The city’s sewer system is a network of separate pipes, and pumps dedicated to collecting and conveying wastewater to two Water Reclamation Facilities for treatment. The two systems are completely separate.
5Can an issue with our wastewater system affect our drinking water?
No, the city’s drinking water and wastewater systems are completely separate from each other. Because there is no connection between the two systems, any issue with one system would not affect the other.
6Why does my tap water have a slight odor?
Long-time residents of Florida have probably experienced a slight smell in water pumped from the aquifer. As much as it rains in the Sunshine State, the rainwater soaks through the earth, recharging the aquifer while picking up organic residuals along the way. These organic residuals, which contain sulfates, are common in drinking water throughout the state and present in water pumped from the aquifer throughout the state. Fortunately, it’s less common in Winter Springs than in other cities, but may at times be detectable. These low levels are perfectly normal and are not harmful to human health or the environment.
7What has Winter Springs’ done to improve drinking water taste and smell?
While Winter Springs’ drinking water meets (and even improves upon) federal standards for quality, the city is in the final stages of a multi-phase plan to upgrade our drinking water infrastructure and develop plans to improve aesthetics throughout our service area. During Summer of 2022, the city will be installing new wells from which to draw drinking water from areas with lower concentrations of odor causing sulfates.
8Is that commonplace in our area?
Yes, this is common in our area as our groundwater contains sulfates.
9Are there plans to build a new drinking water plant?
Yes! In fact, Winter Springs is currently in the final stages of its “Water Works” program designed to upgrade the city's aging water treatment facilities and further improve the taste and smell of your drinking water. Upgrades at Water Treatment Plant 1, located on the east side of town (which provides half of the city’s water), are already complete. These upgrades are designed to further reduce organic residuals that contribute to the odor sometimes found in drinking water. The project also optimized purification efficiencies, resulting in a 50% reduction in the amount of chlorine required to treat drinking water to DEP & EPA standards. Work is also underway to modernize Water Treatment Plants 2 & 3 with key operational upgrades and to improve the aesthetic characteristics of water purified at those facilities.
10Who owns and operates the water treatment plants in Winter Springs?
Winter Springs owns all three of its water treatment plants—and we always have. As part of its “Water Works” program designed to improve water treatment and delivery systems, the city contracted with a private operator to run the system. We are also working with engineering consultants to evaluate our water treatment plants and develop projects to enhance reliability, capacity, and improve the aesthetic characteristics of our water. These upgrades include: optimizing disinfection strategies, improving aeration, and utilizing dynamic hydraulic water models to forecast effects on the system.
11Who regulates Winter Springs’ drinking water?
The city’s drinking water is regulated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). In addition, the city routinely monitors for contaminants in the drinking water system in accordance with State and Federal laws, rules and regulations. In fact, DEP’s 2020 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report confirmed that the drinking water Winter Springs produces meets or exceeds all standards for purity. Read the report here: 2020 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report
12How often is Winter Springs’ drinking water tested for quality?
Disinfection, pH, temperature, phosphorus, and turbidity is constantly monitored and manually tested each day at all three water treatment plants. Remote chlorine residual is also tested in the distribution system daily.