Town releases water quality report
One violation found
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.
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