Water FAQs

Does Parsons water have fluoride in it?
Yes. A 1972 referendum authorized Parsons to begin adding fluoride to its water supply to reduce tooth decay in children. Since January 1973, Parsons has added approximately 1 part per million of fluoride. This amount is recommended by the American Dental Association for maximum dental protection.

What is water hardness? How hard is Parsons water?
Hardness refers to the quantity of naturally occurring minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the water. Hardness affects water qualities such as corrosiveness, with soft water being more corrosive than hard water. Parsons water is considered slightly hard.

Why do you add chlorine to the water?
Parsons uses chlorine in the water treatment process as a disinfectant. Chlorine was introduced into Parsons water treatment process in 1929 and has been the disinfectant of choice since that time. When free or uncombined chlorine is present in the water for a period of time, it reacts with natural organic compounds in the water to produce trihalomethanes (THMs) that may, at high levels, be carcinogenic. The current EPA maximum contaminant level for THMs is 100 parts per billion. Parsons water plant produces water that tests well below that limit. Future regulations may require even lower levels, however, and we are currently exploring alternative treatment methods as new technologies become available.

Is bottled water safer than tap water?
Many consumers feel that bottled water is safer than tap water. This is generally not true. In fact, a recent study revealed that 25 percent of all bottled water is simply tap water that has been placed in a bottle and sold at a price 250 to 10,000 times higher than tap water. For example, a typical price for a one-gallon jug of bottled water ranges from $0.99 to $4 compared to $0.003 for a gallon of Parsons tap water. The quality of bottled water can also vary greatly depending on its source, production process, packaging material, and shelf life before use. Until 1993, there were no proposed federal standards for bottled water; in many states it was unregulated. The 1996 SDWA amendments require bottled water to meet many of the same regulations as tap water for the first time.

Is lead a problem in my drinking water?
Lead in drinking water is an important health issue because of its potential toxic effects, particularly on young children. Lead does not occur naturally in the Parsons water supply, nor is it a result of the treatment or distribution processes. In Parsons, lead in drinking water is most commonly caused by lead-based solder used to join copper piping in home plumbing systems. When water stands for several hours in plumbing that contains lead, the metal can dissolve or leach into the water. Tennessee banned the use of solders containing lead in 1988. As a precaution, you can eliminate lead from your drinking water by allowing the water to run for a few minutes before consuming it.