Edenton warns about water again
By Nicole Bowman-Layton
Saturday, April 20, 2019
EDENTON — While Edenton officials are again warning residents to be careful drinking the town’s water, they’re also noting work will begin soon to remedy the problems causing the water to be in violation of state law.
In a letter to the town’s 2,107 water customers on March 29, Town Manager Anne-Marie Knighton said the town’s water system remains in violation of state law because it contains elevated levels of trihalomethanes, a byproduct of the chemical process to disinfect drinking water. Trihalomethanes, or THMs, are considered a carcinogenic.
Knighton said the high THM levels in the town’s water don’t pose an emergency, but customers — particularly those with specific health concerns — need to know about them.
“Some people who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of maximum contaminate levels over many years — the state defines as 70 years — may experience problems with their liver, kidneys or central nervous system and may have an increased risk of getting cancer,” Knighton said in the letter.
Knighton said the town has been exceeding the total THMs maximum contaminant level allowed by the N.C. Division of Water Quality since 2015, when the rules changed. The town has been notifying its water customers of the violations and its plans to bring the water system back into compliance. That plan features upgrades to both of the town’s water treatment plants, including to the Beaver Hill Water Treatment Plant by September.
Under state law, Edenton and other municipal and county water suppliers are required to monitor their drinking water for contaminates such as THMs. Water samples collected in March from one or more Edenton’s sampling sites showed the contamination concentration exceeded the maximum allowed for THMs, Knighton’s letter states.
The sample location with the highest average level of total THMs had a concentration of 0.192 mg/L. — twice the average standard of .080 mg/L.
Knighton said the town expects its THM levels to continue to be in violation of state law until Edenton is able to complete upgrades to one of its two water treatment plants. Edenton has already secured the required state permits and funding it needs to install new treatment processes at both plants.
“This new treatment process will totally remove the precursers that cause THMs,” Knighton’s letter states.
A licensed contractor has been awarded a contract to install a new treatment process and upgrade the plants. Knighton’s letter states the contractor ordered materials and began mobilizing to begin construction this month.