PUBLIC NOTICE – IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DRINKING WATER
Town of Narragansett Water Division – North End System (PWS# RI1858429, as supplied by Veolia Rhode Island only) has levels of Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs) above Drinking Water Standards.
Our water system recently violated a drinking water standard. Although this is not an emergency, as our customers you have a right to know what happened and what we are doing to correct this situation. The Town of Narragansett operates two water systems, North End and Point Judith. The Town purchases water for the North End System from both the Town of North Kingstown and Veolia Rhode Island, whereby one portion of the system is supplied by water from North Kingstown, and one portion is supplied by water from Veolia. This notice only applies to Town of Narragansett water customers within the North End System (PWS# RI1858429) that are supplied with water purchased from Veolia Rhode Island.
We routinely monitor for the presence of drinking water contaminants. Chlorine utilized for disinfection degrades and reacts with natural organic matter in the water to form volatile organic chemicals known as Disinfection Byproducts, including Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM). Testing results from 10/01/22 to 12/31/22 show that our system exceeds the standards, or maximum contaminant levels (MCLs), for TTHM. It is determined by averaging samples collected by our system for the past 12 months. The standard for TTHM is 0.080 milligrams per liter (mg/l). The level of TTHM averaged at the North End system portion as supplied by water from Veolia Rhode Island for 10/01/22 to 12/31/22 was 0.081 mg/l.
What should you do?
- There is nothing that you need to do. You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions. 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 at increased risk and should seek advice from your health care provider(s) about drinking this water.
What does this mean?
- This is not an emergency. If it had been, you would have been notified within 24 hours. TTHMs are four volatile organic chemicals which form when disinfectants react with natural organic matter in the water.
- Some 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.
What is being/has been done?
- Residual chlorine concentrations were increased by both Veolia and Narragansett Water Division – North End system following a boil water emergency in September 2018, which has contributed to increased TTHM levels. We continue to review the treatment practices with Veolia and monitor the amount of chlorine used for disinfection purposes.
- The water storage tank was cleaned and inspected in December 2019; no significant deficiencies were found.
- We adjust storage tank operating levels to increase water turnover and reduce residence time / water age.
- We conducted regular distribution system flushing in November 2022 in the North End water system to purge stagnant water and clean pipes to reduce chlorine demand prior to the latest quarterly sampling.
- We conducted additional distribution system flushing in January 2023, employing targeted flushing sequences developed utilizing the water system hydraulic model, to remove and replace old water and with fresher water.
- We continue to review operational procedures to determine if further adjustments can be implemented.
- We awarded a contract in December 2022 to prepare construction bid documents for distribution system modifications developed utilizing the hydraulic model to improve water quality by increasing circulation and reducing water age.
- We believe that this situation 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: January 19, 2023
*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.