IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DRINKING WATER
The Willard Water District Has Levels of Total Trihalomethanes Above Drinking Water Standards
Our water system recently violated a drinking water standard. Although this is not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct this situation. We routinely monitor for the presence of drinking water contaminants. Testing results we received on 9/8/2020 show that our system exceeds the standard or maximum contaminant level (MCL), for Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM’s). The standard for TTHM’s is 80 micrograms per liter. The average level of TTHM’s over the last 4 quarters was 83.75 microgram per liter.
What should I do?
You do not need to use an alternative (e.g., bottled) water supply. However, if you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor.
What does this mean?
Trihalomethanes are a group of chemicals that are formed in drinking water during disinfection when chlorine reacts with naturally occurring organic material (e.g., decomposing vegetation such as tree leaves, algae or other aquatic plants) in surface water sources such as rivers and lakes. They are disinfection byproducts and include the individual chemicals chloroform, bromoform, bromodichloromethane, and chlorodibromomethane. The amount of trihalomethanes formed in drinking water during disinfection can change from day to day, depending on the temperature, the amount of organic material in the water, the amount of chlorine added, and a variety of other factors.
Disinfection of drinking water by chlorination is beneficial to public health. Drinking water is disinfected by public water suppliers to kill bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illnesses, and chlorine is the most commonly used disinfectant in New York State. All public water systems that use chlorine as a disinfectant contain trihalomethanes to some degree.
What are the health effects of trihalomethanes?
Some studies suggest that people who drank water containing trihalomethanes for long periods of time (e.g., 20 to 30 years) have an increased risk of certain health effects. These include an increased risk for cancer and for low birth weights, miscarriages and birth defects. The methods used by these studies could not rule out the role of other factors that could have resulted in the observed increased risks. In addition, other similar studies do not show an increased risk for these health effects. Therefore, the evidence from these studies is not strong enough to conclude that trihalomethanes were a major factor contributing to the observed increased risks for these health effects. Studies of laboratory animals show that some trihalomethanes can cause cancer and adverse reproductive and developmental effects, but at exposures much higher than exposures that could result through normal use of the water. The United States Environmental Protection Agency reviewed the information from the human and animal studies and concluded that while there is no causal link between disinfection byproducts (including trihalomethanes) and human health effects, the balance of the information warranted stronger regulations that limit the amount of trihalomethanes in drinking water, while still allowing for adequate disinfection. The risks for adverse health effects from trihalomethanes in drinking water are small compared to the risks for illness from drinking inadequately disinfected water.
What happened? What is being done?
We anticipate resolving the problem within the next several months by implementing a flushing program to prevent “older” water from collecting within the distribution system. For more information, please contact Robert Stapleton @ 607-319-9153.
Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.
This notice is being sent to you by the Willard Water District. State Water System ID#: NY4901200.
Date distributed: 9/17/2020