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Water Quality Report

Published May 2024

As a regional water supplier serving multiple counties and about 900,000 consumers, Citizens Energy Group, prides itself in providing safe, reliable water. As required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the drinking water report provides information on where water comes from and how it compares to current standards. 


Adobe PDF Printable Drinking Water Report


Indianapolis (IN5249004) & Morgan County (IN5255019) 2023 Water Quality Data

Westfield - South Madison (IN5248026) 2023 Water Quality Data

Westfield (IN5229009) 2023 Water Quality Data


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a drinking water report?

As a regional water supplier serving about 900,000 consumers in multiple counties in Central Indiana, Citizens Energy Group prides itself in providing safe, reliable and high quality water. As required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this annual drinking water report provides information on where water comes from and how it compares to current public water supply standards. This report contains a summary of water quality data collected over the past calendar year. If after reading this report you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 317-924­-3311.

Where does my water come from?

Citizens Energy Group obtains water for its customers from several sources:

Indianapolis & Morgan County

  • The White River supplies two of the four surface water treatment plants: White River and White River North. Morse Reservoir, near Noblesville, stores water to assure a dependable supply in the White River to these plants. 

  • Fall Creek is another surface water supply. Geist Reservoir and Citizens Reservoir store water to assure an adequate supply for the Fall Creek and White River treatment plants. 

  • A number of wells are used intermittently to supplement the supplies to the White River, White River North and Fall Creek plants. 

  • Citizens also receives some surface water from Eagle Creek Reservoir, which supplies water to the T.W. Moses treatment plant.

  • Citizens presently operates six groundwater treatment plants that serve smaller portions of its service territory: White River North, Geist Station, Harding Station, South Well Field, Harbour, and Ford Road. These ground water treatment plants treat water pumped from underground water sources called aquifers.

Citizens Westfield

Citizens Westfield operates three groundwater treatment plants that serve the service territory: River Road, Cherry Tree, and Greyhound Pass. These groundwater plants treat water pumped from underground water sources called aquifers.

Citizens Westfield - South Madison

Citizens operates the South Madison groundwater treatment plant near Lapel. Three onsite groundwater wells supply groundwater to this treatment plant. 

What is in my drinking water before it is treated?

The sources of drinking water (both tap water and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, reservoirs, and groundwater wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or human activity.

Contaminants that may be present in source water include:

  • Microbial contaminants, such as viruses, bacteria, and protozoa, which may come from wastewater treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.

  • Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally occurring or result from urban stormwater runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.

  • Pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses.

  • Organic chemical contaminants, which are byproducts of industrial processes and petroleum production and can also come from gas stations, urban stormwater runoff, and septic systems.

  • Radioactive contaminants, which are naturally occurring and can be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities.

In order to ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA prescribes regulations that limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided by public water systems. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottled water which must provide the same protection for public health.

Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily pose a health risk.

What is the difference between surface water and ground water?

Surface water comes from rivers, creeks, streams, and reservoirs and may contain more pollutants and contaminants than groundwater. Groundwater comes from wells drilled deep into the ground. Groundwater usually has higher mineral content than surface water.

How is the water treated?

Groundwater treatment plants aerate and filter water to remove dissolved iron and manganese. Surface water treatment plants physically remove solids or other contaminants through coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, and filtration. Chlorine is added to kill any bacteria present and to maintain a level of disinfectant as the water travels through the distribution system. Surface water treatment plants also utilize ultraviolet light disinfection to further protect water quality. Fluoride is added to help strengthen resistance to cavities in teeth. A small amount of ammonia is used to minimize byproducts of the disinfection process and to allow chlorine to persist longer in the distribution system.

What is being done to improve water quality?

One of the easiest ways you can protect water quality is to limit the use of lawn fertilizers. When you do use fertilizer, make sure it’s phosphorus-free. Excess phosphorus provides nutrients to algae that can harm water quality. For more information on drinking water protection, visit www.citizensenergygroup.com/Water/Protection.

Wellhead Protection - In order to minimize the risk of groundwater contamination, Citizens has implemented a Wellhead Protection Program in accordance with the State Wellhead Protection Rule and local ordinances. The program works with local planning teams and regulators; maps wellhead protection areas; identifies potential sources of groundwater contamination; works with businesses to prevent spills and releases of chemicals; and prepares a contingency plan in case of contamination. View Wellhead Protection Areas

Source Water Assessments - An inventory of identified potential sources of contamination upstream of each surface water treatment facility has been conducted by the United States Geological Survey for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). These assessments are a helpful component of Citizens’ overall source water protection strategy.

What if I have special health considerations?

Raw water may contain cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants, which water treatment technologies effectively inactivate. However, some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immunocompromised individuals, such as people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, people who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly individuals, and infants, can be particularly at risk for infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA and Centers for Disease Control guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by cryptosporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791 or epa.gov

How does Citizens minimize lead in drinking water and how can I avoid it?

Citizens regularly tests drinking water from customer taps for lead and copper and takes steps in its treatment process to ensure corrosive conditions are not created in the distribution system that would contribute to elevated levels of lead and copper. While rare, elevated lead levels are sometimes found in isolated samples of tap water taken from customer homes that have lead service lines or plumbing. Since each home has different plumbing pipes and materials, test results may differ for each home, but it is important to note that most homes with lead service lines or plumbing do not have elevated levels of lead in the tap water.

Once every three years, drinking water regulations require Citizens to sample tap water from 50 homes in the Indianapolis system and 30 homes in the Westfield system. These samples are taken from homes whose ages indicate that they either have lead service lines or have copper pipes with lead solder. Results from these sampling events continue to be below the EPA’s action levels for lead and copper. 

Citizens received approval in 2022 from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to implement a multi-year program to eliminate customer-owned lead service lines, both in the public right-of-way and on customer property. For more information, visit www.citizensenergygroup.com/LSLRP.

You cannot see, taste, or smell lead in drinking water, and boiling water will not remove lead. Although the quality of the water provided by Citizens minimizes the risk of lead, you can reduce your household’s exposure to lead in drinking water from lead service lines by following these recommendations:

  1. Flush your tap before drinking or cooking if the water in the faucet has gone unused for more than six hours – The longer the water lies dormant in your home’s plumbing, the more lead it might contain. Flush your tap with cold water for 30 seconds to two minutes before using.  To conserve water, catch the running water and use it to water your plants. 

  2. Try not to cook with or drink water from the hot water faucet – Hot water has the potential to contain more lead than cold water.  When you need hot water, heat cold water on the stove or in the microwave. 

  3. Certified lead filter – Consider using certified lead filters in drinking-water pitchers and on faucets used for drinking and cooking.

  4. Remove loose lead solder and debris from plumbing – In homes in which the plumbing was recently replaced, remove the strainers from each faucet and run the water for 3 to 5 minutes.  When replacing or working on pipes, be sure to use materials that are lead-free.  Use of lead-based solders has been illegal since 1986. 

  5. Check water softener systems – Certain home treatment devices, such as water softeners for example, might increase lead levels in your water.  Always consult the device manufacturer for information on potential impacts to your drinking water or household plumbing. 

  6. Have an electrician check your wiring – If grounding wires from the electrical system in your home are connected to your plumbing, it can accelerate corrosion. A licensed electrician can determine whether your system is properly grounded. Do not attempt to change the wiring yourself because improper grounding can cause electrical shock and  fire hazards. 

Additional information is available at: 
www.citizensenergygroup.com/Lead and from the EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 or epa.gov 

What is Cryptosporidium?

Cryptosporidium is a microbial contaminant that lives in the intestines of animals and people. When ingested, this microbial contaminant may cause a disease called cryptosporidiosis, which causes flu-like symptoms. Although cryptosporidium has not been found in treated finished drinking water, cryptosporidium is found in surface water sources such as the White River, Fall Creek, and Eagle Creek Reservoir.

Citizens utilizes a stringent monitoring program, testing source water and finished drinking water as well as using online monitors that measure the clarity of the water, which helps determine the likeliness of the microbe’s presence in drinking water. In addition, Citizens’ surface water treatment process uses ultraviolet disinfection to further improve water quality protection.

How hard is my water?

As is common with water in this region, Citizens' water is considered “hard” due to the natural levels of the minerals calcium and magnesium. Water hardness, expressed as calcium carbonate, typically ranges from around 200 to 425 milligrams per liter or parts per million (ppm). This equates to 12 to 25 grains per gallon (the measure often referred to in determining water softener settings). Water hardness can vary depending on the hardness of the source water that is used to supply different treatment plants. More specific information about the water hardness typical at your address can be obtained by calling 317-924-3311.

What can I do to conserve water?

Wise water use can help save you money and ensure a sustainable water supply. Did you know that during hot, dry weather events, approximately 40 to 70% of all drinking water produced in Central Indiana is used for lawn irrigation purposes? Consider these hints for water conservation:

  • Water your lawn no more than twice per week.

  • If you have an irrigation system, use a rain sensor to avoid watering when it’s raining.

  • To prevent evaporation, don’t water your lawn during the heat of the day.

  • Use a shut-off nozzle on your garden hose, and never use water to clean sidewalks and driveways.

  • To conserve year-round, regularly check for leaks in toilets and faucets, and run dishwashers and washing machines only when they’re full.

  • Don’t let the water run when brushing your teeth or shaving.

  • Consider buying low-flow plumbing fixtures and high-efficiency appliances with EPA WaterSense and Energy Star labels.

For more information on water conservation, visit www.citizensenergygroup.com/WaterWise.