Our mission at the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority is to provide our customers with consistent, quality drinking water. To guarantee water quality, we take many steps to ensure its excellence.

ECUA's drinking water comes from 28 active wells throughout the area that pump water from the Sand and Gravel Aquifer, one of the best water sources in the country. Each year, the ECUA pumps more than 13 billion gallons of water to more than 250,000 residents in the community, an average of about 32 million gallons daily.

ECUA routinely monitors, tests and analyzes the water we source —more frequently than the law prescribes — to meet and exceed the regulatory standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Safe Drinking Water Act and also our state laws.

Our testing and detection processes are multifaceted and sophisticated. ECUA water quality staff manage hundreds of sampling stations at each well site, and at fire hydrants throughout our distribution system. New pipes, water mains and service lines are also tested for the potential presence of contaminants before they are accepted and placed into service.

Each year, our water quality staff:

  • Collect about 3,000 water samples, from points along the distribution mains and at well sites, to test for total coliform bacteria and monitor chlorine levels in the system.
  • Manage more than 18,500 analyses of collected samples that are conducted in our state-certified lab or by an external certified laboratory facility.
  • Monitor our water quality in "real time" 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Test for more than 60 volatile organic compounds.
  • Analyze each well annually for nitrites and nitrates.

In addition, the ECUA conducts extensive quality control sampling of our water distribution system. Although this type of sampling is not required by regulation, it's important for identifying the system's potential areas of weakness so that they may be addressed quickly.

Quality drinking water is our top priority and it shows. We consistently meet all standards required by the United States EPA and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

The end result? ECUA's water tastes great, too. Since 2005, ECUA's drinking water has won the Best Tasting Water title five times. The Florida Section of the American Water Works Association sponsors this annual taste-testing competition between all the utilities in the four northwest Florida Panhandle counties.

We encourage our customers to stay informed about their water quality. To learn more, go to ecua.fl.gov/live-green/our-water-supply or livegreenecua.com.