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Public Notices Mailed for Total Trihalomethane Violation

Posted on: April 18th, 2016

April 6, 2016 – All water customers of the Authority, the City of Jackson, and the City of Jenkinsburg were mailed a notice of a violation of the maximum contaminant level for Total Trihalomethanes.  A copy of the notice mailed is printed below.
We routinely monitor for the presence of drinking water contaminants. Testing results from the third quarter of 2015 showed that our system exceeded the standard, or maximum contaminant level (MCL), for Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM). TTHM’s are one type of “disinfection by-product”. They are constituents that form when chlorine disinfectant comes into contact with naturally occurring organic materials. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard for TTHM is 80 parts per billion (ppb), averaged at each sampling location for a year. During the third quarter of 2015, three sampling points exceeded the MCL at Test Points 501 (84 ppb), 502 (87 ppb), and 504 (83 ppb). Although this is not an emergency, as our customers, you have the right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct this situation.
What should I do?
There is nothing that you need to do at this time. These violations do not pose a threat to the quality of water supplied. Residents should not be alarmed and do not need to seek alternative water supplies. The water system is taking corrective actions to insure that TTHM’s are reduced.
Some people who drinking water containing trihalomethanes in excess of the maximum contaminant level (MCL) over many years experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous system, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.
Please note that the EPA has estimated that drinking 2 liters of water containing 100 ppb TTHM’s every day for 70 years could result in 3 extra cases of cancer for every 10,000 people. There is no immediate risk from water with TTHM’s above 80 ppb as the slight risk of increased cancer occurs only after decades of drinking water with consistently elevated TTHM’s.
What happened? What is being done?
Changes in the quality of our source water appear to have contributed to higher than normal TTHM results over the past year. We are installing a mixing and aeration system at our Highway 36 ground storage tank that will remove trihalomethanes and greatly reduce new formation beyond the tank. This system was pilot tested in November 2015 with excellent results. The mixing/aeration system is expected to be operational in April 2016. We will also continue to flush dead-end lines, increase the fluctuation of water levels in all our storage tanks, monitor carefully to feed the minimum amount of chlorine to maintain a residual at all points in the system, and work to optimize water treatment at our plants to remove the maximum possible organic materials from our water.
For more information, please contact Marcie R. Seleb, general manager of the Butts County Water & Sewer Authority, at or 770-775-0042.