As Congress mulls a law to keep telemarketers from calling people’s homes, direct marketers are knocking on doors of Macon and Bill County residents with their own sales pitch.
In the past few weeks, a private company has been attempting to convince local residents that their water is in need of extra testing, in what appears to be an effort to sell water filtration supplies, according to the literature attached to the test bottles left at the homes of many Macon/Bibb residents.
Even though the company is not posing as a county, city or state utility, some MWA customers are still confused. This is not the first time something like this has occurred—in the past five years, there have been several companies who have offered water tests in an effort to sell water filters in this area.
The water that the customers of the MWA drink is safe and meets EPA and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division standards, said Mark Wyzalek, manager of the laboratory and industrial monitoring services of the MWA.
"Customers need to know that our Authority is held to strict standards by federal and state government regulations, and we are well within all of the requirements for water quality," said Wyzalek. "We don’t know what testing standards these private companies are using, so our customers need to be cautious about test results they get from them. MWA’s testing does meet all EPA and Georgia EPD requirements," he said. "We especially want our customers to realize they don’t need to buy any sort of filters for them to have safe water."
The private water marketing company soliciting water samples door-to-door claims to gauge the total dissolved solids in the water. The TDS level in Macon’s water is 100 ppm, well below the EPD limit of 500 ppm. TSD is not harmful to human health and is made up of minerals such as calcium and magnesium, nutrient vital to normal human development. Bottled water purchased in stores can have TDS levels as high as 1,500 ppm, for example.
Another water quality indicator measured though water testing is the hardness of the drinking water. Hardness is equivalent to the amount of calcium and magnesium carbonate in the water. Macon’s water is actually very soft, and this is a plus to customers because soft water makes it easier to make soapsuds, and therefore, it takes them less water to create baths and clean dishes, added Wyzalek.
The private water marketing company also offers to test for pH levels and chlorine. Yet, both of these are well within the federal and state guidelines for MWA water quality, and monitored on a continual basis by MWA personnel.
"We understand that these people going door-to-door intent to sell filters to our customers," said Tony Rojas, general manager of the MWA. "But we want our customers to know that these tests are not part of the MWA, and we take every measure to ensure that our customers drink the cleanest and safest water possible. MWA, like the EPA and many customer groups, believe that these filters are not necessary."