Florida's water reservoirs are mostly underground in sand or limestone layers called aquifers. Aquifer water can range from fresh to salt. Freshwater aquifers are Florida's primary source of drinking water and they are tapped into by drilling wells. All but a few of Florida's Water Treatment Facilities use ground water as their supply source for drinking water. The Floridan Aquifer contains some of the purest drinking water in the State of Florida.
In Northern and Central Florida, most of the water consumed comes from the Floridan Aquifer that lies below the entire state. In Southern Florida and along the coastal areas, the Floridan Aquifer is much deeper and is influenced by salt water intrusion.
The City of Ocoee pumps its water from very deep wells, about 1,500 feet in depth. We use the water from the lower Floridan Aquifer because it is purer and meets the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and FDGP standards. The water is then pumped up to the surface where it is aerated, fluoridated and disinfected for treatment.
The sodium hypochlorite (bleach) that we use originates from a salt and electrolysis process. This process is a safe way to administer chlorine into the drinking water system. This process totally eliminates the use of gaseous chlorine and creates a safer environment for the community. The strength of the sodium hypochlorite used in the water is 0.08% - far less than common household bleach - which has 5% strength.
Although the sodium hypochlorite method of disinfection is vastly different from the traditional liquid or gas injection process, it does raise the salt content of the water. However, the increase in salt is so insignificant that it is not detectable to the palette, unlike the salt content of water softener.
The fluoride that is put into water significantly aids in dental protection. The chemical has been studied more thoroughly than any other public health measure throughout the past 50 years. Every major health organization in the U.S. recommends fluoridation. The amount of fluoride that is put into the water is equivalent to 0.8 parts per million (ppm). To put this in layman's terms, the amount of fluoride injected into the water is equivalent to 1 minute in 2 years; or 1 penny in $10,000.
After these chemicals are injected into the water, it goes to a ground storage tank for stabilization, to allow the chemicals to interact with the water, and to disinfect it for use and consumption. Our water plants can pump and process up to 9.5 million gallons of water per day during the peak season. The peak season is March through September. During the other 5 months, the plant processes up to 5 million gallons of water per day.