It takes a dedicated group of people charged with safeguarding citizens from nefarious waterborne illnesses. They're the police, or more pointedly, the crime scene investigators of the city's water system, using specialized tools such as ion chromatography and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry machines to discover the smallest of villainous clues at the
"Each water has its specific fingerprint, so to speak," said lab supervisor
Lab technicians conduct about 20 different tests daily on the Cypress Plant as well as the
Those tests are in addition to the hourly tests employees on the operations side conduct daily at Cypress.
"We ensure the water is within (
Test points for the lab have increased recently when the city began its 45-day test run of the direct potable reuse system that connects
They are also searching specific spots along the temporary project for cryptosporidium and giardia. So far, the results have been better than anticipated.
"We're finding great removal from our (polymerase chain reaction)," she said of the test used to detect certain protozoans in the water. "We haven't had any detects through our permeate (or) through the clearwell."
Ramon said while the project has its skeptics, what most people don't realize is that most bottled water companies use the same processes -- microfiltration and reverse osmosis -- to create their products. Even one in
"We're, through the treatment of the water, trying to protect the public's health," he said, adding that it's a daily mission of the department. "Because they do such a good job, you don't ever think about typhoid, cholera; things our grandparents thought about all the time because they just don't happen anymore."
Ramon said eyes around the globe are focused on
"People don't realize this is going to be the future," she said. "We've had calls from
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