Third Quarter 2017 Water Quality Report
We are proud to announce that on August 16, 2017, the city of Clinton received notice that all levels of TTHM's were significantly below the allowable limits. We believe that the isolated issue has found a long term solution to the slightly elevated TTHM's last quarter.
City Of Clinton Water Notice for Second Quarter 2017
- No threat to public health. Had this been a threat or emergency, we would have notified the public immediately.
- This letter is a requirement of the EPA’s Clean Water Act
- Isolated spot in a line along Clinton Tinnin Road. All other test locations came back below legal limits.
- Additional tests have been taken and showed levels are once again in compliance.
The city of Clinton’s water system recently exceeded drinking water standards for Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs). While we are required to notify residents and customers of any exceedance of standards, the Water Department wants to confirm with the public that this detection is neither harmful nor a reoccurring issue.
The Water Department monitors drinking water for specific parameters on a regular basis. The locational running annual average (LRAA) for TTHMs is determined by averaging all the quarterly samples collected at each sampling location for the past 12 months. The standard for TTHMs is 0.080 mg/L. During the fourth quarter of 2016, testing results showed a measurement of 0.086 mg/L at one site located off Clinton Tinnin Road. Three other required sampling sites were tested and these three were all within acceptable limits. Additional flush untis have been placed in the area off Tinnin Road to flush organic materials out of the line that interact with Chlorine to create TTHM's.
To place into perspective the level the test was out of compliance, the following example has been provided.
- Compliance – 0.080 mg/l = 80 parts per billion
- Measured – 0.081 mg/l = 1 part per billion out of compliance
Water officials with the city of Clinton have met with the Health Department and have been assured that there is nothing serious in this matrter and that the letter is simply a formality under the EPA Clean Water Act.
This is not an emergency and our customers do not need to boil water or take other action. The EPA has established public notification rules under which specific violations are assigned.
TTHMs are common disinfection process byproducts that form when chlorine reacts with natural organic material present in the source water. Chlorination is a necessary, EPA-supported process that disinfects drinking water and protects the public against potential diseases transmitted through the water supply. Although an increase of TTHMs was detected, the water remains safe to drink and use for cooking, bathing and cleaning.
According to Dexter Shelby, Director of Public Works, the Water Division's operational staff has “identified long-term solutions to reduce the potential for any reoccurrences at the Clinton-Tinnin Road site.”
Shelby again reiterated that “this is not an emergency and our customers do not need to boil water or take other action.”
Mayor Fisher's Response
Our water customers recently received a letter regarding minimally elevated levels of TTHM's, which are non-harmful bi-products of the water chlorination and treatment process for drinking water.
The Mississippi State Department of Health informed the City of a non-harmful chemical imbalance and required the City to inform all the homes of this event or face significant fines. The City reported the isolated situation (involving 5 houses) on the next water bill after receiving notification from the Department of Health.
The system Department of Health uses, delays by many months, the reporting to all cities. That means that by the time Department of Health informs the City, the issue could be months old – and in most cases already resolved. There is a company that will get the information back to the Department of Health in 6 days, but the DEQ does not use them. I had a talk with Department of Health about my frustration with their system.
What caused this problem? In a nutshell, the City ran a 12 inch line for fire protection down Clinton-Tinnin Road (as part of our continuing effort to provide for infrastructure needs). Five homes were taken off a 2 inch line and put on the new 12 inch line. While that sounds logical, there was an unanticipated second level effect. Because a line that large requires more than five homes to move the water rapidly enough, the chemical balance was thrown off. The net effect was a reoccurring, non-harmful chemical imbalance. After discovering the problem, I had the PW department flush the line more often each month. The testing number are showing normal limits since that action was taken.
The Department of Health and the federal Clean Drinking Water Act requires a letter be sent to all homes in the community, regardless of how few are affected (.0008%). Therefore, months after the event occurred the City was notified and letters were sent out. When the cause was determined, we took corrective action to eliminate the problem.