Important Information About City of Craig Drinking Water - P.O.W. Report

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Important Information About City of Craig Drinking Water

From the City of Craig: 

Date distributed: 2/05/2020

Exceedance of the Allowable Maximum Contamination Level for the Disinfection Byproducts Haloacetic Acids (HAA5)

A test made on a routine sample drawn from the city’s water system showed the sample did not violate an established drinking water standard, but the Locational Running Annual Average (LRAA) exceeded the allowable Maximum Contamination Level for the disinfection byproducts Haloacetic Acids (HAA5). Although this incident is not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what happened and what we are doing to correct this situation.

We routinely monitor for disinfection byproducts. Disinfection byproducts (DBP) form when organic material is treated with chlorine disinfection. It is important that we use chlorine disinfection to treat the surface water we use as a water source because all surface water has microorganisms in it that can be harmful to your health if not adequately disinfected. However, a side effect of using chlorine disinfection is the formation of disinfection byproducts. EPA sets standards, allowable maximum contamination levels (MCLs), for these byproducts. The MCL for HAA5 is 60 parts per billion (ppb).

A review of our test results for the last sample taken on January 21st, 2020 was 25 ppb. Our treated water exceeded the allowable maximum contaminant level (MCL) for these regulated disinfection byproducts based on the Locational Running Annual Average. Compliance with the MCL is based on the Locational Running Annual Average (LRAA) of all samples collected during the last four calendar quarters. Currently, the LRAA for HAA5 in our water system is 63.5 ppb.

What does this mean?

This is not an emergency. If it had been an emergency, you would have been notified within 24 hours. However, it is important that you know that the water quality standard was not met. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that people who drink water containing HAA5 in excess of the MCLs over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous system, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer. Therefore, it is important that we take steps to lower the disinfection byproduct levels in our source water whenever the MCL is exceeded in order to reduce any long-term risk associated with these contaminants.

What is being done?

We will work with DEC to ensure that we are in compliance with DBP levels and will sample quarterly as required. If water samples continue to exceed the MCL for this disinfection byproduct, we will provide you with an updated notice each calendar quarter until there is no longer an exceedance. The City of Craig water distribution operators will conduct periodic flushing of the water system by fire hydrants throughout the City before the next quarterly samples are due.

What should I do in the meantime?

There is nothing you need to do at this time. If a situation arises where the water presents an immediate public health risk, you would be notified within 24 hours. If you have a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, are pregnant, or are elderly, you may be at increased risk and should seek advice from your health care providers about drinking this water. This notice is being sent to you by the City of Craig in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Conservation. Please contact the City of Craig if you have any questions regarding this notice.

City of Craig State Water System ID#: 120193

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