Matthew didn’t contaminate city drinking water

Published 11:16 am Friday, October 14, 2016

The City of Franklin’s Public Works Department does not report any signs of drinking water contamination as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

The Virginia Department of Health warns that heavy flooding and runoff from a hurricane can sometimes cause a city’s drinking water reservoirs to become contaminated with bacteria, sewage, industrial or agricultural waste and other chemicals, which can lead to serious illness.

But according to Public Works, that hasn’t happened here with Matthew.

“No floodwaters at any of our wells have gotten into the water supply,” said Steve Watson, the city’s utilities superintendent for public works. “Our deepest well is 790 feet deep in the ground.”

Public Works collected and mailed water samples from all four wells to a lab in Richmond Wednesday for annual testing as required by the Safe Drinking Water Act. The data collected will be released to the general public in the City of Franklin’s 2016 annual drinking water quality report.

According to the most recent draft of the City of Franklin’s 2015 water quality report, released on July 1 of this year, samples from all four wells met or exceeded Federal and State standards for safe drinking water.

Past years’ reports can be downloaded from the City of Franklin’s website here: