PUBLIC NOTICE – IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DRINKING WATER
Town of Narragansett Water Division – Point Judith System (PWS# RI1858428) had levels of Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) above drinking water standards.
Our water system recently violated a drinking water standard. Although this incident was not an emergency, as our customers you have a right to know what happened and what we have done to correct this situation. The Town of Narragansett operates two water systems, North End and Point Judith. This notice only applies to Town of Narragansett water customers within the Point Judith System.
The Town of Narragansett introduces chlorine into the drinking water that is supplied by Suez Water of RI as a means of disinfection. This is a very common industry practice, and one that we have been doing for many years. Chlorine has proven to be highly effective against contaminants. Over time, chlorine in water degrades and reacts with natural organic matter in the water to form four (4) volatile organic chemicals that are known as “Disinfection Byproducts” (DBPs), including Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM). There is a specific regulatory limit for the concentration of TTHM in drinking water. In essence, we are constantly balancing the need for ample chlorine to safely disinfect the water, while not using so much that the development of DBP’s such as TTHM becomes problematic. Pipe material, pH, temperature, and the original concentration of chlorine all are factors in the development of DBPs.
We routinely monitor for the presence of drinking water contaminants (bacteriological and DBPs). Test results from 06/04/2019 showed that the Point Judith System exceeded the standard, or maximum concentration level (MCL) for TTHM. The regulated standard for TTHM is 0.080 milligrams per liter (mg/l). The level of TTHM from our Point Judith System sampling location, based on an average of all the samples collected over the 12 months prior to June 2019, was reported at 0.082 mg/l. Test results from 09/04/19 showed that level of TTHM based on the average of samples collected over the 12 months prior to September 2019 was 0.0914 mg/l and the Point Judith System again exceeded the MCL for TTHM.
What should you do?
• There is nothing that you need to do. You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective action. If a situation arises where the water is no longer safe to drink, you will be notified within 24 hours accordingly.
• If you have a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, are pregnant, or are elderly, you may be increased risk and should seek advice from your health care provider(s) about drinking this water.
What does this mean?
• This is a required notification only and is not an emergency. If it had been, you would have been notified within 24 hours accordingly.
• People who drink water containing TTHMs in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous system, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.
• Again, this notification is about an average minor exceedance only.
What is being/has been done?
• Residual chlorine concentrations were increased by both Suez and Narragansett Water Division – Point Judith system following the boil water emergency of September 2018, which has contributed to increased TTHM levels in the water. We will review the treatment practices with Suez and continue to carefully monitor the amount of chlorine that is being used for disinfection purposes and.
• We have adjusted the storage tank operating levels to increase water turnover and reduce residence time. We will reassess tank operations and flushing procedures to determine if further adjustments can be implemented.
• Water storage tanks cleaning and inspection is scheduled to be conducted in Fall 2019.
• We believe that this problem will be resolved through the above action.
If you have any questions about this Notice, please contact the Narragansett Water Division at 401-782-0639.
DATED: October 16, 2019
*Please share this information will all other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.