Action News Jax Investigates Water Quality in Florida Community

May 3, 2016–Clean drinking water is a basic need that we can’t live without. But do we know what comes out of the taps?

That’s what Jacksonville, Florida investigative reporter Paige Kelton set out to find recently. Jacksonville’s 105-million-gallons-per-day water supply is furnished by an aquifer 1,000 feet underground that is “a very pristine, clean source of water,” according to Kevin Holbrooks, director of environmental compliance with JEA. “No, it’s a totally different water source,” replied Holbrooks when asked by Kelton if the water situation in Flint, Michigan could occur in Jacksonville.

Other communities get their water from shallower wells which, according to the news report, offers a greater risk of contamination. The City of Bunnell recently replaced its water treatment facility with a unique ion exchange system that is the first of its kind in the world and provides high-quality drinking water. The water went from being a “yellowish or ice tea color” to being “crystal clear,” according to Phil Locke, senior project manager with McKim & Creed who oversaw the ion exchange project.