Water Quality Assurance

Water Quality Scientist

The City of Columbus' Water Quality Assurance Laboratory (WQAL) is a large modern water lab with a long history of distinguished public service starting under the noted water quality chemist Charles Hoover. The lab continues to maintain that tradition of excellence and technical innovation in the ongoing use of state-of- the-art equipment for water analysis, while continuing to research the latest advancements in water treatment techniques.

The WQAL performs water quality monitoring and treatment research to ensure that Columbus drinking water meets or is better than all federally mandated Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) standards. The WQAL also provides water quality information to the water treatment plants and addresses customer complaints and inquiries regarding water quality. Last year, the WQAL's EPA licensed and certified laboratory staff completed over 70,000 analyses relating to 33 different organic, inorganic, and microbiological water quality parameters.

To maintain compliance with current SDWA regulations, WQAL activities last year were again directed at the National Primary Drinking Regulations, the Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule, the Lead and Copper Rule, the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR), Stage 2 of the Disinfectant/Disinfection Byproducts Rule (D/DBP), and the Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2ESWTR). Additionally, the lab has been closely involved in planning the improvement of watershed and water distribution system surveillance and detection measures for security concerns and to maintain heightened security protocols.

As with the WQAL staff, the State of Ohio licenses and certifies the water plant operators who are charged with running and maintaining each of the three water treatment plants. These operators also perform the critical task of treatment and process monitoring to insure that the water leaving the plant is of the highest quality. In order to stay current in the ever-changing technical field of water purification, these operators spend many hours of continuing education in the classroom every year.

These operators, the Water Quality Assurance Laboratory staff, and all of the Division of Power & Water employees are dedicated to providing water, a life-sustaining resource, for the well-being and economic vitality of the community. This is our mission.

View the "Water for Living Consumer Confidence Report " which shows the types and amounts of key elements in your drinking water, their likely sources and the maximum contaminant level (MCL) that is considered safe. The water delivered to your home meets ALL of the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

E-mail the WQAL or call 614-645-7691 (8am - 4pm, Monday - Friday).

Common Water Quality Concerns
The most common water quality concerns are addressed; however, if you have additional questions, please contact our Water Quality Assurance Lab (WQAL) at 614-645-7691 (8am - 4pm, Monday - Friday) or e-mail: WaterQuality@columbus.gov.

Be Informed about Home Water Treatment Devices
If you choose to purchase a home treatment device, independently research the product to make sure it does what you intend it to do.

Employees Wear Photo ID Badges
If someone identifies themselves as a city employee and asks to enter your home or provide a water sample, please ask to see their employee identification. Our employees wear a photo ID badge, a city-issued uniform or shirt and would also be driving a city vehicle.

Our Commitment to Water Quality
Columbus provides a variety of services to protect both surface & drinking water quality. We work with communities upstream to help reduce the impact of agricultural activities. In our own community, we partner with landowners adjacent to our reservoirs and monitor construction sites to limit sedimentation that can impact local waterways. We also protect the quality of life downstream by discharging clean water from our wastewater treatment plants.