Town re­leases wa­ter qual­ity re­port

One vi­o­la­tion found

Record Observer - - News - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

CENTREVILLE — The Town of Centreville re­leased its 2015 Drink­ing Wa­ter Qual­ity Re­port, which found the town’s wa­ter meets all state and fed­eral re­quire­ments. Once vi­o­la­tion was re­ported due to a hu­man er­ror as wa­ter sam­ples to test for ar­senic levels were not taken be­tween Oc­to­ber and De­cem­ber.

The re­port is made up of sam­ples taken through­out the year be­tween Jan. 1 and Dec. 31. Daily tests are com­pleted by the town op­er­a­tors, and the quar­terly tests are col­lected by Ch­e­sa­peake En­vi­ron­men­tal Lab of Stevensville, an in­de­pen­dent lab­o­ra­tory cer­ti­fied by the state. More than 120 con­tam­i­nants are tested for through­out the year to make sure wa­ter is safe for con­sumer use.

The vi­o­la­tion, which Clif­ford “Kip” Matthews, town pub­lic works di­rec­tor, said has been cor­rected, re­quired the town to post no­ti­fi­ca­tions in the mail and in the news­pa­per about the in­ci­dent. Though the quar­terly sam­ples were not taken, Matthews said the wa­ter treat­ment plant was fully func­tion­ing. Sam­ples taken in the quar­ter be­fore and af­ter the missed test showed the ar­senic levels were within the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency’s Safe Drink­ing Wa­ter Act stan­dards.

“It doesn’t mean the wa­ter was con­tam­i­nated or any­thing, it was just the sam­ple didn’t get col­lected and sent to the lab like it was sup­posed to,” Matthews said.

Prior to Jan. 23, 2006 when the stan­dards for ar­senic levels in drink­ing wa­ter changed from 50 parts per bil­lion (ppb) to 10 ppb, the town was in com­pli­ance with reg­u­la­tions. When the stan­dards changed, Centreville be­came out of com­pli­ance but was given time to get the ar­senic levels down to the new stan­dards, which it did.

The high­est level of ar­senic de­tected in the 2015 re­port was 7 ppb. Other tests com­pleted and men­tioned in the re­port were for cop­per, flu­o­ride, chlo­rine bar­ium, lead, to­tal tri­halomethanes and haloacetic acids, all of which were in com­pli­ance with the reg­u­lated stan­dards.

Lead, re­quired by state and fed­eral reg­u­la­tions, must be test for ev­ery three years. In the 2015 re­port, lead was not de­tected in the wa­ter sam­ples col­lected. The re­port states that lead can en­ter the wa­ter from ma­te­ri­als used in ser­vice lines and home plumb­ing de­vices. Like lead, not ev­ery con­tam­i­nant is tested for an­nu­ally.

Con­tam­i­nants test for in 2015, its level of de­tec­tion and the max­i­mum con­tam­i­nant levels (MCL) for each, re­spec­tively, are as fol­lows: beta/photo emit­ters, 8.6 pCi/L, 50 pCi/L; ar­senic, 7 ppb, 10 ppb; cop­per, 0.104 parts per mil­lion (ppm), 1.3 ppm; flu­o­ride, 0.46 ppm, 4 ppm; chlo­rine, 0.9 ppm, 4 ppm; bar­ium, 0.1 ppm, 2 ppm; tri­halomethanes, 15 ppb, 80 ppb; and haloacetic acides, 10 ppb, 60 ppb.

“As wa­ter trav­els over the land or un­der­ground, it can pick up sub­stances or con­tam­i­nants, such as mi­crobes, in­or­ganic and or­ganic chem­i­cals and ra­dioac­tive sub­stances,” the re­port read. “All drink­ing wa­ter, in­clud­ing bot­tled drink­ing wa­ter, may be rea­son­ably ex­pected to con­tain at least small amounts of some con­tam­i­nants.”

Ar­senic, cop­per, flu­o­ride, chlo­rine and bar­ium can en­ter the wa­ter through ero­sion of nat­u­ral de­posits and run-off, cor­ro­sion of house­hold plumb­ing sys­tems, wa­ter ad­di­tives used to strengthen teeth or con­trol mi­crobes as well as dis­charge from drilling wastes.

The max­i­mum con­tam­i­nant level (MCL) al­lowed in wa­ter as­sumes a per­son drinks “two liters of wa­ter ev­ery day at the MCL level for a life­time to have a one-in-a-mil­lion chance of hav­ing the de­scribed health ef­fect,” the re­port stated.

Matthews said that Centreville does not al­low pri­vate wells hooked up to a house in the town’s lim­its be­cause stan­dards for pri­vate wells are not the same. Be­cause the re­quired test­ing is dif­fer­ent, Matthews said the pri­vate wells can­not be con­nected to the town’s wa­ter sys­tem be­cause of po­ten­tial “cross con­nec­tion.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about the re­port or the town’s wa­ter qual­ity, con­tact Sam Bozarth, town wa­ter/waste­water su­per­vi­sor, at 410-758-1180. To view the re­port in its en­tirety, visit the town’s web­site at www.townof­cen­trev ille.org.

Fol­low Mike Davis on Twit­ter: @ mike_k­ibay­times.

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