Riverside Public Utilities Warns – Web Article on Incorrect Water Quality Data Resurfaces
Riverside, Calif. – Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) and City of Riverside officials are assuring customers that water supplied by RPU is safe, after a seven year-old, incorrect web article questioning the public utility’s water quality resurfaced this week online.
“It seems that every couple of years or so someone re-posts or links to past articles which feature incorrect information about our water utility and water quality,” said RPU General Manager Girish Balachandran. “So we are informing our customers that our water continues to be safe, and continues to meet and surpass all state and federal standards for drinking water quality.”
In 2009, a Washington, D.C. based environmental group published a report that it claimed identified the top 10 cities in the country with the worst water quality (placing Riverside second worst). RPU, along with the nine other “worst” utilities listed, immediately questioned the report and its findings.
“It was quickly determined that data used by the group in its report was from untreated groundwater samples, instead of samples of the high quality, treated water that customers get when turning their taps on,” Balachandran said.
Like other public water providers in California, RPU operates under strict guidelines for water quality set by the state Department of Health Services, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency. In 2014 alone, more than 18,600 samples were taken and tested from throughout RPU’s water system to ensure water quality.
Despite the report being debunked, RPU faced the same issues (and the same articles) as it did this week, when both bloggers and national news outlets reposted the worst 10 list again in 2011, and 2013. Each year, RPU uses a variety of means including: websites, back of bill messaging, bill inserts, letters, social media, and its annual water quality report mailing to help keep customers educated about what the utility does to ensure water quality and safety every day.
“However, if someone finds old or incorrect information online and reposts it, or relinks it, that misinformation can spread very quickly,” Balachandran said, “especially when the messaging includes possible health risks.”
RPU encourages all of its customer-owners to stay up to date with the utility by visiting www.RiversidePublicUtilities.com, following the utility’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, or by contacting Customer Service at (951) 782-0330 or the city’s Call Center by dialing 311 (or 826-5311). For additional information on RPU water, view our Water Quality Annual Report at www.BlueRiverside.com
Established in 1895, Riverside Public Utilities is a consumer-owned water and electric utility that provides high quality, reliable services to over 108,000 metered electric customers and up to 67,000 metered water customers throughout the City of Riverside. The Utility is committed to increased use of renewable energy resources and sustainable living practices that help reduce environmental impacts within the City of Riverside and the state of California.