SAFETY & QUALITY

providing safe, quality water for our community

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CONSERVATION

responsible management of a vital resource

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WATER RATES

current rate schedule for service

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NEW SERVICE

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WATER

Reliability and quality go hand-in-hand when it comes to your water. CPWS is committed to providing safe, quality drinking water to its customers located in the City of Columbia and other parts of Maury County. 
Clean, safe drinking water. It is something we take for granted, but every home may have potential hazards that threaten to contaminate our drinking water. Ensuring that water is safe is everyone’s responsibility.

CROSS CONNECTIONS – A POTENTIAL HEALTH HAZARD

The Problem
Cross Connections – What is a cross connection?  A cross connection is a direct link between a household water line and a contaminated source such as a garden hose, toilet tank or laundry tub. The most common contaminants, such as pesticides, sewage and detergents, can enter your drinking water system through cross connections in home water lines.

Back Siphonage – Most household cross connections are created by hoses.  Under certain conditions, the flow in household water lines can reverse and siphon contaminants into the water supply.

For example, using a garden hose to spray pesticides is normally harmless, but if the city’s water supply is interrupted while you are spraying, you may have a problem.

If water main pressure is reduced due to a water main break or nearby firefighting, a back siphonage effect is created.  This can draw water from your garden hose into your home water supply.  So if you have a pesticide or fertilizer sprayer attached to your garden hose, the chemicals can contaminate your water supply.

Back Pressure – Your drinking water can also be contaminated by an effect called back pressure.  Back pressure results when your water supply is connected to a system under high pressure such as a hot water boiler for home heating or a portable automobile pressure washer.  Since the pressure in these devices is higher than your home water supply, water can sometimes be forced backwards.  Contaminants in these systems, such as cleaners or soaps in a pressure washer, can then enter and contaminate your drinking water supply.

For more information on cross-connection and backflow prevention, please call 931-388-4833 ext. 7661.

The Solutions
You can easily prevent back siphonage by installing inexpensive safety devices or taking a few simple precautions.

Solution #1
Anti-Siphon Ballcocks – For example, toilet tanks contain a ballcock device which allows water into the tank after flushing.  Older style ballcocks do not have an anti-siphon feature and can allow water from the toilet tank to backflow into your drinking water line.

A simple anti-siphon ballcock installed with a 25mm (1″) air gap above the overflow tube will prevent contaminated tank water from entering your water supply.

Solution #2
Hose Connection Vacuum Breakers – You can also prevent back siphonage by using an inexpensive, easy-to-install hose connection vacuum breaker.  This one-way valve allows water to flow from the tap, but not back in.  (Drainable vacuum breakers should be installed on taps which could freeze.)

Solution #3
Air Gaps – Leave a gap of at least one inch or two times the pipe diameter (whichever is greater) between the end of a hose and a source of contamination.  This eliminates a link between the two.  Never leave a hose where it can suck contaminants back into the drinking water supply, such as in a swimming pool, bathtub, sink or fish tank.

WHEN TO CALL THE EXPERTS

Hot water boilers for heating homes, underground lawn sprinkler systems, and automobile pressure washers form cross connections which need proper control.  Due to the complexity of these systems, a qualified plumber who is a certified Cross Connection Control Specialist should be called for advice and assistance.

SAFE DRINKING WATER IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY
Federal and provincial governments are responsible for setting high standards for water quality. Columbia Water System is responsible for producing and supplying drinking water which meets or exceeds these standards. Homeowners are responsible for ensuring that drinking water does not become contaminated as a result of cross connection.   Remember, you are not only protecting your own water supply, but your neighbors’ as well.

CPWS works around the clock to provide top quality water to every customer’s home and business.  Over a growing number of years, CPWS has been dedicated to producing drinking water that meets all state and federal standards.  We continually strive to adopt new methods for delivering the best-quality drinking water.  As new challenges to drinking water safety emerge, we remain vigilant in meeting the goals of source water protection, water conservation, and community education while continuing to serve the needs of all of our water users. 
 
Each year, CPWS produces an detailed report on the status of our water quality.  Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns with the information presented. You can find the full report on https://cpws.com/ccr or by clicking the button below.

Annual Report

CONSERVATION

Columbia Power and Water Systems (CPWS) is committed to providing a safe and efficient water treatment and distribution system for its customers.  Recognizing that weather patterns and other unpredictable conditions could impact the amount of water available in CPWS’ raw water supply, the Board of Public Utilities adopted a Drought Management Plan several years ago.   
  
The plan took its current form in 2008 in response to a Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) request that CPWS submit a detailed drought plan with its Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit —the permit that allows CPWS to pump raw water from the Duck River.  The drought plan was updated in 2011 and, again in 2016 to comply with recent TDEC rule changes.   
  
The Drought Management Plan provides detailed descriptions of CPWS water resources and its management of the water system.  Importantly, it lays out trigger thresholds that will prompt water conservation efforts.  These triggers are based on the level of water in Normandy Reservoir and the flow of water in the Duck River at Columbia.  In a change from previous plans, the 2016 plan now aligns with the drought triggers recommended by the Duck River Development Agency (DRA) and the 100 cfs flow requirement imposed in CPWS’ ARAP. 
  
Potential Drought  
Federal, state and local stakeholders are already in the process of keeping track of drought condition in the state – especially during times that are unseasonably warm or very dry.  While Tennessee is fortunate to have plentiful water sources – such as our own Duck River – there continue to be challenges to our state’s water resources in meeting all the competing needs for sufficient water supplies, especially compounded during times of drought. In light of the emerging signs of drought conditions seen currently within some of our watersheds, the state continues discussions with potentially impacted stakeholders and are taking necessary steps to best prepare for a drought should it indeed occur.   
  
As you know, the Duck River is one of the most diverse rivers in the world in terms of aquatic life.  So, managing through any drought is a very careful balancing act that speaks to not only the public’s need for water for purposes such as potable water supply, wastewater assimilation, navigation, and recreation — but also assuring the quality of the state’s water sources remain within the parameters necessary for protecting aquatic life. Efforts taken today will result in meaningful storage of water supply that will prove valuable in getting through the typically dry summer months.  
  
What Can I Do?   
 Conservation measures will become even more important if drought conditions continue.  And if such time does occur, CPWS may ask customers to voluntarily conserve water.   
  
It’s important to understand that drought issues are not just about insufficient water at the source.  Also playing a big role are typical warm weather activities such as watering lawns and plants, filling swimming pools and washing cars. When a utility is working to meet the demands of its customers, both supply and demand are part of the equation.  That’s why voluntary measures to conserve water where possible are so important to the overall drought plan.   
  
But conserving water at the tap is something we should all try to practice each and every day – even when drought conditions do not exist.  Here are some simple tips for our customers on how you can help conserve water – just a few easy steps we can do that will collectively make a difference in our supply of fresh water:   
  
Whole House Ideas 
• Fix all leaky plumbing fixtures, including outdoor hoses.  
• Install sink faucets with aerators, motion sensors, or automatic shut-offs  
• Run washing machines and dishwashers only with full loads.  
• Buy appliances with water conservation features, such as “light-wash options.   
  
In the Kitchen 
• When cooking, peel and clean vegetables in a large bowl of water instead of under running water. 
• Fill your sink or basin when washing and rinsing dishes. 
• When buying a dishwasher, select one with a “light-wash” option. 
• Only use the garbage disposal when necessary (composting is a great alternative). 
  
In the Bathroom 
• Install low-flush toilets, or put a one-liter water bottle in the toilet tank.  
• Install low-flow shower heads.  
• Take short showers instead of baths. 
• Turn off the water to brush teeth, shave and soap up in the shower. Fill the sink to shave. 
• Repair leaky toilets. Add 12 drops of food coloring into the tank, and if color appears in the bowl one hour later, your toilet is leaking. 
  
Outdoors 
• Water lawns and gardens sparingly in the morning or evening to prevent excessive evaporation.  
• Landscape with native plants, shrubs and trees — they are adapted to periods of drought and may require less water than non-native ornamentals.  
• When mowing your lawn, set the mower blades to 2-3 inches high. Longer grass shades the soil improving moisture retention, has more leaf surface to take in sunlight, allowing it to grow thicker and develop a deeper root system. This helps grass survive drought, tolerate insect damage and fend off disease. 
• Apply mulch around shrubs and flower beds to reduce evaporation, promote plant growth and control weeds. 
• Add compost or an organic matter to soil as necessary, to improve soil conditions and water retention. 
• Collect rainfall for irrigation in a screened container (to prevent mosquito larvae growth). 
• When washing a car, wet it quickly, then use a bucket of water to wash the car. Turn on the hose to final rinse (or let mother nature wash your car when it rains). 
• Always use a broom to clean walkways, driveways, decks and porches, rather than hosing off these areas. 

Interested in learning more about CPWS’ detailed Drought Management Plan? Download the document.

CURRENT RATES

Residential Schedule A Schedule B
Inside City Limits Outside City Limits
Customer Charge (minimum bill) $9.50 $14.00
Commodity Charge (per 1,000 gallons)
0 – 5,000 Gallons $2.40 $3.15
All over 5,000 Gallons $2.70 $3.50
Multi_Unit Charge* $4.00 $4.00
Commercial
Customer Charge (Minimum Bill) $13.00 $18.00
Commodity Charge (per 1,000 Gallons)
0 – 5,000 Gallons $2.40 $3.15
All over 5,000 Gallons $2.70 $3.50
Multi-Unit Charge* $5.50 $5.50
Industrial
Customer Charge (Minimum Bill) $59.00 $59.00
Commodity Charge (per 1,000 Gallons)
0 – 5,000 Gallons $2.40 $3.15
All over 5,000 Gallons $2.70 $3.50
Sales for Resale** $2.45

*Multi-Unit Charge: A Multi-Unit Charge applies for each unit of a multiple unit dwelling or commercial complex purchasing water through a master water meter.
**Sales for Resale: Potable water being sold by a state approved waterworks system to persons that are not customers of Columbia Water System and the waterworks system has a written contract with Columbia Water System.
Amortization Charge: An additional charge of five cents ($.05) per 1,000 gallons of water used is applicable to the above rates to defray the City of Columbia’s share of the water supply benefits provided by Tennessee Duck River Development Agency.
Late Charge: A late payment charge of ten percent (10%) shall be added to each customer’s bill for the amount of the bill unpaid after the bill due date specified on the bill.

Private Fire Protection (Unmetered) Schedule C
Customer Charge (minimum bill) $7.66
Commodity Charge (per sprinkler head) $.06
Fire Hydrant $9.19
Connection Charge Actual Cost

This rate is applicable to all consumers requiring private fire protection water service on unmetered mains in areas where Columbia Water System has adequate main capacity to meet consumers’ demand for water.

Service under this rate is subject to Columbia Water System’s Schedule of Rules and Regulations.
Late Charge: A late payment charge of ten percent (10%) shall be added to each customer’s bill for the amount of the bill unpaid after the bill due date specified on the bill.

Public Fire Protection (Unmetered) Schedule D

All fire hydrants installed for the City of Columbia after January 1, 1989 shall be purchased and installed by Columbia Water System. The City of Columbia shall reimburse Columbia Water System the average cost for the materials, labor, transportation, design and engineering and shall make said reimbursement in sixty (60) equal payments at no interest.

NEW SERVICE

Are you building a new home or business and need a connection to CPWS’ dependable water system?  Connections are subject to the rules and regulations adopted by the City of Columbia’s Board of Public Utilities.

Before a connection to the water system is authorized, the following water connection (tap) fees must be purchased from CPWS.

Single Dwelling/Facility Fee

Meter Size Tap Fee $
5/8” $1,500
3/4” $1,700
1” $2,300
2” and larger (by others)* $2,500
Fire protection/sprinkler system* $2,500

 

Platted Subdivision Fee 

Meter Size Tap Fee $
5/8” $1,000
3/4” $1,200
1” $1,800
2” and larger (by others)* $2,500
Fire protection/sprinkler system* $2,500

Residential Subdivision Fee only applies to residential subdivisions properly platted and approved after April 28, 2016; and also when service connections are made in sequence with the water main installation.

*Customer installs connection to water main and water facilities at customer’s expense.

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