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Hillsborough Water Customers: Note Information on Testing and Filters

Thursday, June 6, 2019
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The Town of Hillsborough routinely tests for more than 150 contaminants in its drinking water according to federal and state laws and meets or surpasses the state recommendations for water quality.

The Town of Hillsborough is not mailing water testing kits to customers. Customers receiving such kits should note that they are from a private company unaffiliated with the town.

The Hillsborough Water Treatment Plant routinely tests for more than 150 contaminants in the town’s drinking water according to federal and state laws and meets or surpasses the state recommendations for water quality:

  • Daily — Two lab-certified operators perform bacterial checks at the plant; and plant employees conduct 24-hour monitoring and evaluation of the town’s drinking water.
  • Weekly — The town’s utilities inspector collects five bacteriological samples for testing to help maintain disinfection levels at the extremities of the town’s water lines.
  • Monthly — The town collects 15 samples throughout the water distribution system for testing.

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality provides a listing of certified drinking water laboratories should a customer want outside testing.

Water filters

Water customers should note that the installation of a whole house filter prevents the town from conducting bacteriological tests of a property’s water lines should a water quality issue occur. Such filters are considered secondary water treatment by the state and the federal Environmental Protection Agency, and test results at homes with these filters would not provide data on the water that Hillsborough delivers.

Customers also should note that most water filters must be changed every 30 days to prevent the growth of bacteria. Many water filters eliminate chlorine, which is added to Hillsborough’s drinking water for disinfection. Without adequate disinfection, bacteria will start to grow.

Use of a filter that eliminates chlorine will cause free ammonia to be left in the filtered water, which could cause nitrification and result in poor water quality. Nitrification is the oxidation of ammonium salts to nitrites and the further oxidation of nitrites to nitrates. Hillsborough’s disinfection process involves adding ammonia to water at the Water Treatment Plant. The ammonia bonds with chlorine to produce the disinfection compound chloramines.

More information

Hillsborough issues a water quality report each summer for the previous year. The most recent report is available in English and Spanish on the town’s website. Paper copies are available at the Town Hall Annex, 105 E. Corbin St.

Additionally, the Water Treatment Plant’s chief operator briefly explains the town’s water quality testing in a video available on the town’s YouTube channel.

For more information, contact the Water Treatment Plant at 919-732-3621.