Water Quality

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EPA Partnership

EPA Partnership

Partnership for Safe Water


The Partnership for Safe Water was developed through the cooperation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the American Water WorksAssociation, the National Association of Water Companies, and other affiliations of drinkingwater associations. The purpose of the Partnership is to encourage U.S. water systems to survey their utilities to "identify areas that will enhance the water system's ability to prevent the entry of Cryptosporidium and Giardia (microorganisms), and to voluntarily implement those actions that are appropriate for the system." By voluntary participation, a utility demonstrates a commitment to improve its treatment process, focusing on optimizing processes for removal of turbidity, a measurement of cloudiness, which is considered an indicator of potential microbial pathogens.


The Partnership was officially launched in September 1995 after its announcement in March 1995. The Partnership utility membership consists of approximately 220 utilities with over 400 water treatment plants. These utilities were asked to sign a Partnership agreement and begin the necessary data collection and plant assessments. Paducah Water was one of the original utilities volunteering for the Partnership.


There are 4 phases to the Partnership:

1. Commitment

2. Data collection

3. Self-assessment and correction program

4. The composite correction program (CCP).


Through participation in the Partnership, PW has established voluntary water quality goals for turbidity levels within the treatment plant and in the finished water. These goals are more stringent than current EPA regulations and many require operational, engineering, or administrative changes within the utility in order to comply. Involvement in the Partnership resulted in some additional capital, operational, and labor expenses commitment. The outcome, however, is safer water for consumers, driven by PW commitment to its public's welfare beyond regulatory mandates. As of July 11, 2011, PW was the recipient of the Phase III Directors Award and maintains Five- and Ten-Year Directors Award status for successfully completing the standards of the program. Thus, PW continues to strive toward providing a product of excellence!