IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DRINKING WATER
ESTE INFORME CONTIENE INFORMACION IMPORTANTE ACERCA DE SU AUGA
POTABLE. HAGA QUE ALGUIEN LO TRADUZCA PARA USTED, O HABLE CON
ALGUIEN QUE LO ENTIENDA.
Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County Violated a Treatment Technique
The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County (MAWC) wants to inform our customers that the Treatment Technique violation for Total Organic Carbon (TOC) removal at the George R. Sweeney Water Plant is on-going.
MAWC issued the initial public notification in its’ 2018 Annual Water Quality Report to all affected customers in March 2019.
Although this is not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct this situation.
We are required to monitor the removal of specific Disinfection Byproduct Precursors using a test called Total Organic Carbon (TOC). This notification is to make our customers aware that the TOC level in our drinking water currently is and has been below the 2.0 mg/l level for alternative compliance since December 2018, however, the regulation requires that to meet compliance the running annual average (RAA) for the past twelve (12) calendar months must be below 2.0 mg/l. MAWC’s RAA as of March 2019 is 1.96 mg/l. This value must be rounded up to 2.0 mg/l as stated in the regulation. Therefore MAWC did not meet the compliance criteria for TOC removal as stated in the regulation. The most recent result from March 2019 for TOC in the drinking water was 1.56 mg/l which is well below the standard. MAWC will meet the compliance criteria RAA with the 2019 2nd quarter results which will end June 30th based on our current testing and treatment.
What should I do?
- You do not need to do anything. No alternative (i.e. bottled water) water supply or boiling the water is necessary. However, if you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor.
What does this mean?
- This is not an immediate risk. If it had been, you would have been notified immediately. Total Organic Carbon (TOC) has NO HEALTH EFFECTS. TOC may provide a medium for the formation of disinfection byproducts. These byproducts include trihalomethanes (TTHM’s) and haloacetic acids (HAA5’s). Drinking water containing these TTHM’s and HAA5’s in EXCESS of their MCL’s may lead to adverse health effects, liver, or kidney problems, or nervous system effects, and may lead to increased risk of getting cancer.
- MAWC has always been and continues to be in full compliance of the TTHM and HAA5 Maximum Contaminate Levels (MCLs).
What happened? What was done?
Due to significant consistent rainfall during 2018 the TOC level in the raw source water was persistently higher than normal especially in the 2nd and 4th quarters of 2018. We were unable to remove the required amount of TOC in the 4th Quarter of 2018 increasing the TOC running annual average. MAWC made chemical treatment changes in its process system to reduce TOC further and is replacing the Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) in its filters to also increase removal of the TOC. These process changes have reduced the level of TOC as noted above to well below the standard.
For more information please contact Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County at 724-755-5800.
Please share this information with all the 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.
This notice is being sent to you by the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County
PWS ID# 5650032 Date distributed May 8, 2019
You may wish to read a Q&A on this subject here.