Cumberland Utility District

Cumberland Utility District

Cumberland Utility District

Cumberland Utility District Water Quality Report


Download the Water Quality Report as a document

Is my drinking water safe?

Yes, our water meets all of EPA’s health standards. We have conducted numerous tests for over 80 contaminants that may be in drinking water. As you’ll see in the chart on the back, we only detected 9 of these contaminants. We found all of these contaminants at safe levels.

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What is the source of my water?

Your water, which is surface water, comes from two sources Little Emory River, Elverton Branch Embayment and from Brushy Mtn. Reservoir. Our goal is to protect our water from contaminants and we are working with the State to determine the vulnerability of our water source to potential contamination. The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) have prepared a Source Water Assessment Program (SWAP) Report for the untreated water sources serving this water system. The SWAP Report assesses the susceptibility of untreated water sources to potential contamination. To ensure safe drinking water, all public water systems treat and routinely test their water. Water sources have been rated as reasonably susceptible, moderately susceptible or slightly susceptible based on geologic factors and human activities in the vicinity of the water source. Cumberland Utility District’s source is rated as moderately susceptible to potential contamination.

An explanation of Tennessee’s Source Water Assessment Program, the Source Water Assessment summaries, susceptibility scorings and the overall TDEC report to the EPA can be viewed online at or you may contact C.U.D to obtain copies of specific assessments.

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Why are there contaminants in my water?

Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. Community water systems are required to disclose the detection of contaminants; however, bottled water companies are not required to comply with this regulation. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk. More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

For more information about your drinking water, please call Cory Jenkins at (865) 882-0395
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How can I get involved?

Our Water Board meets on the second Thursday of each month, 5:00 p.m., at the Cumberland Utility District office, located at 3201 Harriman Highway in Harriman, TN.

Please feel free to participate in these meetings. The Commissioners of Cumberland Utility District serve four-year terms. Vacancies on the Board of Commissioners are filled by the nomination of names by the remaining Commissioners in office. These names are then submitted to the County Mayor for selection and approval. Decisions by the Board of Commissioners on customer complaints brought before the Board of Commissioners under the District’s customer complaint policy may be reviewed by the Utility Management Review Board of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation pursuant to Section 7-82-702(7) of Tennessee Code Annotated.

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Is our water system meeting other rules that govern our operations?

In order to insure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation prescribe regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. FDA regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health. We have met all of these requirements. Results of unregulated contaminant analysis are available upon request. We want you to know that we pay attention to all the rules.

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Other Information

The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally-occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or from human activity.

  • Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.
  • Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturallyoccurring or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial, or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.
  • Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses.
  • Organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also, come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff, and septic systems.
  • Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally-occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.
Do I Need To Take Special Precautions?

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have under-gone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about not only their drinking water, but food preparation, personal hygiene, and precautions in handling infants and pets from their health care providers. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium and other microbiological contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

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Water System Security

Following the events of September 2001, we realize that our customers are concerned about the security of their drinking water. We urge the public to report any suspicious activities at any utility facilities, including treatment plants, pumping stations, tanks, fire hydrants, etc. to (865) 882-0395.

Chart Definitions
  • MCLG- Maximum Contaminant Level Goal, or the level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.
  • MCL - Maximum Contaminant Level, or the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment technology. To understand the possible health effects described for many regulated constituents, a person would have to drink 2 liters of water every day at the MCL level for a lifetime to have a one-in-a-million chance of having the described health effect.
  • MRDL: Maximum Residual Disinfectant Level or MRDL: The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water. There is convincing evidence that addition of a disinfectant is necessary for the control of microbial contaminants.
  • MRDLG: Maximum residual disinfectant level goal. The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected risk to health. MRDLGs do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.
  • AL- Action Level, or the concentration of a contaminant which, when exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow. Non-Detects (ND) - laboratory analysis indicates that the contaminant is not present.
  • Parts per million (ppm) or Milligrams per liter (mg/l) – explained as a relation to time and money as one part per million corresponds to one minute in two years or a single penny in $10,000.
  • Parts per billion (ppb) or Micrograms per liter - explained as a relation to time and money as one part per billion corresponds to one minute in 2,000 years, or a single penny in $10,000,000
  • BDL - Below Detectable Level
  • Parts per quadrillion (ppq) or Picograms per liter (picograms/l) - explained as a relation to time and money as one part per quadrillion corresponds to one minute in 2,000,000,000 years or one penny in $10,000,000,000,000.
  • Million Fibers per Liter (MFL) - million fibers per liter is a measure of the presence of asbestos fibers that are longer than 10 micrometers.
  • Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU) - Nephelometric turbidity unit is a measure of the clarity of water. Turbidity in excess of 5 NTU is just noticeable to the average person.
  • TT - Treatment Technique or a required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

Cumberland Utility

Water Quality Data

Cumberland Utility District                    CCR 2016
Contaminant Violation
Range of
Date of
Unit of
MCLG MCL Likely Source of Contamination
Total Coliform Bacteria No 0 2017 0 <2 positive samples Naturally present in the environment
Turbidity1 No 0.11 0.03 to 0.29 2017 NTU n/a TT Soil runoff
Copper No 0.00394 to 0.171 2015 ppm 1.3 AL=1.3 Corrosion of household plumbing systems; erosion of natural deposits; leaching from wood preservatives
Fluoride No Avg. 0.68 0.28 to 1.10 2017 ppm 4 4 Erosion of natural deposits; water additive which promotes strong teeth; discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories
Lead2 No 90th % = 1.86 0 to 14.2  2015 ppb 0 AL=15 Corrosion of household plumbing systems, erosion of natural deposits
Sodium No 47.8 2017 ppm N/A N/A Erosion of natural deposits; used in water treatment
Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM)3 No Avg. 29.1 10.2 to 97.0 2017 ppb N/A 80 By-product of drinking water chlorination
Haloacetic Acids  (HAA5) No Avg. 26.2 9.7 to 80.1 2017 ppb N/A 60 By-product of drinking water disinfection.
Total Organic
Carbon 4
No TT 35% Required 2017 %
TT TT Naturally present in the environment.
Chlorine No Avg. 2.41 1.20 to 3.42 2017 ppm MRDLG = 4 MRDL = 4 Water additive used to control microbes.

During the most recent round of lead and copper testing in 2015, no household out of 30 households sampled contained concentrations exceeding the action level.

1 Turbidity is the measure of the cloudiness of water. We monitor turbidity because it is a good indicator of the effectiveness of our treatment process. We met the treatment technique for turbidity with 100% of our monthly samples being below the limit of 0.3 NTU.

2 If present elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems. Infants and young children are typically more vulnerable to lead in drinking water than the general population. It is possible that lead levels at your home may be higher than at other homes in the community as a result of materials used in your home’s plumbing. Cumberland Utility is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. You can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using tap water. If you are concerned about elevated lead levels in your home’s water, you may wish to have your water tested. Additional information is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (1-800-426-4791) or athttp:

3 While your drinking water meets EPA’s standard for trihalomethanes, it does contain low levels. Some people who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous systems, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

4 Treatment Technique requirements for Total Organic Carbon were met in 2016.

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Health Effects

Microbiological Contaminants:

Total Coliform - Coliforms are bacteria that are naturally present in the environment and are used as an indicator that other; potentially-harmful, bacteria may be present. Coliforms were found in more samples than allowed and this was a warning of potential problems.

Fecal coliform/E.Coli - Fecal coliforms and E. coli are bacteria whose presence indicates that the water may be contaminated with human or animal wastes. Microbes in these wastes can cause short-term effects, such as diarrhea, cramps, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms. They may pose a special health risk for infants, young children, and people with severely compromised immune systems.

Turbidity - Turbidity has no health effects. However, turbidity can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. Turbidity may indicate the presence of disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches.

Inorganic Contaminants:

Copper - Copper is an essential nutrient, but some people who drink water containing copper in excess of the action level over a relatively short amount of time could experience gastrointestinal distress. Some people who drink water containing copper in excess of the action level over many years could suffer liver or kidney damage. People with Wilson's disease should consult their personal doctor.

Fluoride - Some people who drink water containing fluoride in excess of the MCL over many years could get bone disease, including pain and tenderness of the bones. Children may get mottled teeth.

Lead - Infants and children who drink water containing lead in excess of the action level could experience delays in their physical or mental development. Children could show slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney problems or high blood pressure.

Volatile Organic Contaminants:

TTHMs [Total Trihalomethanes] - Some people who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous systems, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

HAA [Haloacetic Acids]- Some people who drink water containing haloacetic acids in excess of the MCL over many years may have an increased risk of getting cancer.


Cryptosporidium is a microbial parasite which is found in surface water throughout the U.S. Although Cryptosporidium can be removed by filtration, the most commonly used filtration methods cannot guarantee 100 percent removal. Monitoring of our source water indicated a minimal presence of cryptosporidium in only one out of nine samples.

Symptoms of infection include nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Most healthy individuals are able to overcome the disease within a few weeks. However, immuno-compromised people have more difficulty and are at a greater risk of developing severe, life threatening illness. Immuno-compromised individuals are encouraged to consult their doctor regarding appropriate precautions to take to prevent infection. For more information on Cryptosporidium, contact the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

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