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Article which appeared in the Upper Keys Reporter

 BY ANN HENSON - September -2003
Staff Writer, Upper Keys Reporter

The Upper Keys Reporter does not have an archive file.


 FKAA tests brackish water blend



Staff Writer


How does your tap water taste?

The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) hopes its customers can't tell that the agency has introduced some brackish water from the Floridan Aquifer into the pristine and tasty liquid from the Biscayne Aquifer.

The water is safe and meets the standards of the Clean Drinking Water Act, officials said.

The water is also safe to use in home medical equipment.

According to Jim Reynolds, executive director of FKAA, tests were conducted earlier this week and the agency is now blending up to 6 percent of the brackish water into the mix.

The mixed water should have started flowing in Key Largo late Thursday or early today. [October 2003]

Key West will receive the new formulation this weekend.

"We did test it first for clarity and odor. It's not as good as what we usually produce, but we can't notice the difference," he said.

The Floridan Aquifer water has hydrogen sulfide gas (that rotten-egg smell) that has to be released during treatment, Reynolds said.

FKAA is trying out the formulation because the agency will eventually blend water, storing it during the wet season and pumping it up to use during the dry season.

Reynolds said a 1,500 foot deep well has been drilled "and we have to do flow tests and pump a lot of water out of the well to see how it reacts."

Once the water is out, it cannot be dumped on the ground or put into a sewer system.

"The only place it can go is in the water plant," Reynolds said, thus the test.

The South Florida Water Management District officials told the FKAA to try the water blending in order to reduce water consumption.

"We can reduce [pumping] from 17 million gallons per day to 15," he added.

Reynolds found that most people who complain about their water tasting "funny" have old water pipes or have older filter systems that have not been changed.

Anyone wishing more information on the test program can call the water treatment plan superintendent at (305) 247-7373.

Ann Henson covers state and Monroe County government, environment, Key Largo and is the editor of the Reporter's website. She can be reached at 852-3216.







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