OCEANSIDE – Oceanside city officials today named their drinking water “consistently high quality, safe and reliable” in hopes to reassure residents after a lawn care company rated Oceanside water in 198 out of 200 cities across the country.
Rosemarie Chora, the city’s water services director, said a March 23 report by LawnStarter was “very successful” when residents raised the alarm on social media.
Austin, Texas-based LawnStarter audits gardeners and pest control companies and connects them online with homeowners in approximately 120 cities across the country, according to its website. It has polluted the city in several ways.
“In each category we disagreed with their results,” said Chora. “We had a good dialogue with them. They actually agreed with what we said about what they had published and they would go back and recalculate. … Even by their own criteria, we wouldn’t have ranked this low if their data had been correct. “
LawnStarter cited non-recorded rule violations – but apparently did not consider government data on drinking water quality publicly available. Non-statistical customer satisfaction ratings were highlighted – and the percentage of residents of a city who lack kitchen installations, which has no impact on the quality of drinking water.
The company didn’t respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
The drinking water report was still available on the LawnStarter blog as of Wednesday, along with similar reports that ranked U.S. cities by hiking, pizza, outdoor employment, and vacation home ownership.
The last time Oceanside’s water system breached state or federal regulations was on October 7, 2013, Chora said. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cited the system for losing communication with the computer equipment that monitors water quality for about seven hours just after midnight.
During the period, a trained and licensed operator manually monitored the water quality every 15 minutes as needed. There was no change in quality, said Chora.
Oceanside gets about 90% of its water from the San Diego County Water Authority and the remainder from its own Mission Basin Aquifer.
The city said in a statement released Wednesday morning that it treats all of its water in its own facilities using different procedures for each type.