Contaminants Found In Water Samples

Posted in: US Water News, Water Contamination, Water Health Effects
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Article courtesy of RYAN BRAY| December 22, 2015 | The Falmouth Enterprise| Shared as educational material

Water from samples taken on Nobska Road tested beyond the allowed legal limit of trihalomethanes, which are byproducts from disinfection chemicals used in the town’s water supply.

Stephen D. Rafferty, the town’s water superintendent, told selectmen Monday night that on December 10, samples taken from a test location at 211 Nobska Road showed a running annual average of trihalomethanes of 80.7 parts per billion. That is higher than the maximum contaminant level of 80 parts per billion allowed by the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Agency, he said.

The Nobska Road site is one of eight locations that have been tested quarterly for trihalomethanes since 2009. Mr. Rafferty said that samples from a site near Black Beach Hills Road are near, but not in excess, of the state’s legal limit. Samples taken from the other six locations in town registered well below the maximum limit, he said.

 Mr. Rafferty said drinking the contaminated water daily over the course of one’s lifetime could lead to increased risk of liver and kidney problems, as well as some forms of cancer. However, he said the recent findings do not pose an immediate threat to residents near Nobska Road.

“This is not a ‘boil the water, don’t drink the water’ situation,” he said.

Residents who drink town water are encouraged to first filter the water using a carbon filtration device, such as water filter pitchers made by Brita.

Mr. Rafferty said the issue of trihalomethane contamination will be remediated once the town’s new wastewater treatment facility is up and running in the spring of 2017.

“These disinfection byproduct numbers will plummet,” he said.

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