Glenwood Municipal Utilities (GMU) customers were notified in writing last week that the city’s water system has been found to be in violation of established drinking water standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
According to a letter mailed to GMU customers last week and a legal notice published in the July 14 edition of The Opinion-Tribune, testing results received on June 15 indicated the system exceeded the standard or maximum contaminant level (MCL) for trihalomethanes. The standard is 0.080 milligrams per liter. Glenwood’s average level over the past year tested at 0.092.
According to a website published by Wilkes University Center for Environmental Quality Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, “trihalomethanes are a group of four chemicals that are formed along with other disinfection by products when chlorine or other disinfectants used to control microbial contaminants in drinking water react with naturally occurring organic and inorganic matter in the water.”
Glenwood-area residents were told in the letter from GMU that the current situation is “not an emergency” and the contaminant level is being monitored. The GMU Board of Trustees has hired an engineering consultant to assist in research and recommend a method that will bring the drinking water supply back into compliance with EPA standards.
“You do not need to use an alternative (bottled) water supply. However, if you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor,” the GMU letter said.
The letter did state that some people who drink water containing trihalomethanes 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.
Additional information on the matter is available from the Glenwood Municipal Utilities office, housed in City Hall at 107 1/2 S. Locust St.