Be in the know about the city’s tap water
With the holidays approaching, you might be in the search for small-talk topics. We have one that will wet your whistle.
Have you ever wondered where you get your tasty tap water? We’re here to tell you! The Oklahoma City Utilities Department works hard to provide more than 1.4 million Oklahomans with fresh, treated water, which is sent out to 18 different communities in central Oklahhoma. That’s nearly one-third of the state’s population.
The raw water comes from seven surface-water reservoirs and yes, some of them are the same places where you might have gone fishing. The water is sourced from Canton Lake in northwest Oklahoma, McGee Creek, Lake Atoka and Sardis Lake in southwestern Oklahoma. In the city limits, the water is tapped from Hefner, Overholser and Stanley Draper lakes.
The raw water is processed at Oklahoma City’s two water treatment plants, the Hefner Water Treatment Plant and the Draper Water Treatment Plant. Depending on what’s in the raw water, then distributed to businesses and households via more than 3,800 miles of treated water lines. During treatment, certified water quality experts take the lake water through an extensive process to remove harmful bacteria and other contaminants. They also disinfect it by introducing a small amount of chlorine. Fluoride is added as well to help prevent tooth decay. So yes, Parks & Rec fans, there’s #TDazzle in your water.
Before the water can be distributed, it’s tested to ensure it meets all the regulatory standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality. The water is also tested at 240 distribution sites within the system to make sure the quality is maintained. In 2018, water quality chemists and plant operators tested more than 205,000 individual water samples.
And your Oklahoma City tap water isn’t just safe, but great tasting, to boot. In 2013, it won the nation’s “Best of the Best” during the American Water Works Association’s National Convention, beating more than 23 other regional winners from across the country. In 2017, it won the AWWA’s regional competition for best-tasting tap in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.
Now if all that reading made you thirsty, go grab your glass and turn on the tap because Oklahoma City boasts some high-quality H20.