The Northwestern Water and Sewer District has sent drinking water notices to users in the eastern portion of the City of Northwood and in Lake Township, including the Village of Millbury.
Simon Gundy, assistant superintendent of the district, said the notices were issued to about 2,800 consumers who receive water from the same distribution line.
Water tests indicate the maximum allowable level for trihalomethanes has been exceeded and while the notices state users don’t need to use an alternative such as bottled water, persons with specific health concerns are being advised to consult their doctor.
Gundy said a running average the last four quarters of the THM count has been 0.094 mg/L (milligrams per liter). The allowable level is 0.080 mg/L.
He said sampling during the third quarter of 2013, when Lake Erie experienced severe algal blooms, strained the treatment process and increased the THM count. Environmental Protection Agency regulations require the count to be included in the calculation for the average count for two more quarterly sampling periods.
According to the federal EPA website, trihalomethanes are a group of four chemicals formed along with other disinfection byproducts when chlorine or other disenfectants are used to control microbial contaminants in drinking water react with naturally occurring organic and inorganic matter in water.
The trihalomethanes are chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane and bromoform.
A maximum allowable annual average of 100 mg/L was in place until December 2001 for large surface water public water systems.
The district purchase bulk water from the cities of Oregon and Toledo and conducts testing in addition to the testing done by the cities.
“The problem we’re having right now is the water coming from Lake Erie has algae and other organics in it. They get as much out as they can but there is still a little bit left,” Gundy said. “When you add chlorine to kill the micro-organisms in the water it reacts and forms the THMs. “
Jerry Greiner, president of the water and sewer district, said the district has five connections to the Oregon’s distribution system but the problem is limited to waterline 200,
He said there appears to be a correlation between elevated THM levels and longer distances from the city’s treatment plant.
For more information call the district at 877 354-9090, ext. 170.
Board seat filled
The district’s board of trustees has approved the nomination of Steve Arnold to a board seat vacated by Bill Davies, who resigned.
Arnold is a life-long resident of Wood County from the Bloomdale area.