Now with the all-clear given for Ohio residents to resume normal water use, we wanted to know if the same kind of contamination could happen here in East Idaho.
The short answer from Tom Hepworth, Engineering Regional Manager with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, is it’s very unlikely.
Hepworth says it boils down to the fundamental difference between where East Idaho gets its water and whereToledo does. In nearly all cases across East Idaho, the water comes from the ground versus a surface water source like Lake Erie. Because of our water coming from underground, the algae that caused the contamination in Lake Erie cannot take hold and contaminate the source.
Hepworth also says that in East Idaho water quality being impacted by things like septic systems and industrial chemicals are our biggest issues.
“We live in an area where there are many, many private domestic wells in addition to the city systems that rely on ground water,” Hepworth said. “Ground water quality is a major concern and something we deal with on a daily basis.”
According to the DEQ’s website
, the Pocatello Region Office monitors water quality for nearly 12 percent of Idaho’s population.
For more information on water quality in East Idaho and across the state you can click here