Village water gets clean bill of health

The new village water filtration plant is doing it’s job.

For the second time in three quarters, the drinking water for the village of Whitehall tested within state-mandated levels for trihalomethanes (THM) residue, which is a byproduct of the chlorination of naturally occurring water supplies.

 

“I hope that they continue to be at the same levels that they are at right now,” said village mayor Patricia Norton. “This means that we no longer have to send the notice out concerning the levels of THM’s because they are now in compliance with the state Department of Health.”

Water plant manager Don Williams said that the test met with state standards at two testing locations.

“We test the water at the school and at Maplewood Ice,” said Williams. “We wanted to do the tests at sites where the largest volume of water is being used.”

For the final quarter of 2008, the THM count at Maplewood Ice was 40 units-per-liter while testing at 29 units-per-liter at the school. For the year, the average score for the Maplewood Ice site was 65 units-per-liter, while the test showed a mark of 71 units-per-liter at the school.

“Eighty is the break-off point,” said Williams. “At Maplewood Ice we are at 65 this year when we were at 97 in 2007.”

Williams said that with the new water filtration plant, the village no longer needs to pre-chlorinate the water that goes through the processing system.

“We stopped pre-chlorination once the new plant was fully on-line,” said Williams. “The decision was made by myself and Ralph VanDnesen, who trained me up there. You could see that there was a big difference in the numbers when you were pre-chlorinating and when you were not because the chlorine helps the THM’s live and remain in the water.”

“Sometimes more is not better,” said Norton. “In this case, it is better for us the less chlorine that we use.”

Williams said that he has been very pleased with the operation of the plant.

“It is taking the organic materials out of the water the way it’s supposed to,” said Williams of the micro-filtration system.

“Now we feel that we can continue to be below the state limits,” said Norton.

Williams said that the village will continue to test the water system quarterly to make sure that the drinking water continues to meet state standards, and that the village will also add to the testing sites.

“We have to keep doing the quarterly testing and we will be taking four samples total starting in June,” said Williams. “We will be adding samples from the Finch and Chubb Restaurant and one of the convenience stores along Broadway.”

Williams said that the added sample testing is part of new rules from the Environmental Protection Agency and that sites are picked to get the most accurate representation of the village system.

“These locations were selected because the locations are on each side of the village,” said Williams.

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