This message was just approved in the past hour by the state for distribution to the public. A paper copy is being mailed today and will be sent to all residents and businesses.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DRINKING WATER
TO ALL CUSTOMERS OF THE MAYNARD PUBLIC WATER SYSTEM
Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) Drinking Water Update
This is an important notice – please translate it for anyone who does not understand English.
The Maynard Department of Public Works and Town Administrator Kevin Sweet seek to update residents and business owners in the Town of Maynard regarding elevated levels of Total Trihalomenthanes (TTHMs) in the town’s drinking water supply.
The town’s water supply is safe to drink and use. No boil water order has been issued.
Under the revised state Disinfection By-Product Rule Stage 2 requirements, the Town of Maynard’s public water system is required to monitor the drinking water for TTHMs levels on a quarterly basis at four approved locations. A four-quarter running annual average at any location above the standard or maximum contaminant level (MCL) for TTHMs of more than 80 ppb is considered out of compliance.
As you were previously notified, the results of Maynard’s fourth quarter 2015 sampling showed levels between 44 and 160 ppb and exceeded the MCL for TTHMs at one of the four sites with a running annual average level of 88 ppb, located at 86 Powder Mill Road.
The town collected two rounds of samples during the first quarter of 2016. The most recent round of testing, conducted in late March and provided to the town earlier this month, showed significant improvement from December 2015 at all sites with levels between 33 and 91 ppb, however the same location at 86 Powder Mill Road still exceeded the MCL for TTHMs with a running annual average of 97 ppb.
At the 86 Powder Mill Road site, the TTHMs declined from 160 ppb to 91 ppb, and the town is confident that the TTHM levels will continue to drop with additional measures. As TTHM compliance is determined by using a four quarter average, and Maynard’s average remains above 80 ppb for the previous four quarters, it will likely remain over 80 ppb for at least one more quarter, even with another significant drop. The Town of Maynard is committed to a remediation plan that will lower the TTHM levels and keep them below compliance levels in the future. You will receive a notice similar to this every three months until the TTHM occurrences have been resolved and comply with MassDEP drinking water standards.
“This is a holistic approach. We want to get the levels down now, but we are also working with the state and our engineers to determine why they rose in the first place, and we will put permanent measures in place to try to keep this from happening again,” Town Administrator Sweet said.
What does elevated TTHMs mean? This is not an immediate risk. If it had been, you would have been notified right away. However, pregnant women, infants, and women of childbearing age may be at increased risk and should seek advice from their health care providers if they have any concerns. Some people who drink water containing (TTHM) trihalomenthanes 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.
Elevated levels do not pose an immediate risk. If there had been, you would have been notified right away. However, the scientific community believes that drinking higher than acceptable concentrations of TTHMs over many years may cause liver, kidney, or central nervous system problems and may present an increased risk of certain cancers. There is research that indicates pregnant women, infants, and women of childbearing age may be at increased risk for health problems and should seek advice from their health care providers if they have any concerns. For more information on risk determination, refer to MassDEP’s Question and Answer Guide to Maynard’s TTHMs Exceedance.
Our water system is working with Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) on evaluating immediate short-term operational changes and long-term upgrades to the treatment plants and the water system with the intention of correcting this issue.
Town Administrator Sweet and several officials from the Town of Maynard, Maynard Public Works, and the town’s water contractors met with MassDEP last week, which has provided Maynard with a list of recommendations and best practices.
The town is committed to:
- An ongoing and extensive review of all three drinking water treatment plants in town;
- Working with our third party engineering consultant to review and update Standard Operating Procedures that will govern water operations moving forward;
- Improving operations at the water treatment plants, including improved monitoring of the amount of chlorine used in the treatment process;
- Self-testing for TTHMs beyond what the state requires, to ensure that TTHM levels continue to drop;
- Flushing of every fire hydrant in town and establishing a new schedule to conduct more routine hydrant flushing (you will be notified when flushing will occur in your area); and
- Continued meetings and follow-ups with MassDEP.
What can you do? You do not need to do anything. Town Administrator Sweet is aware that commercial vendors may be contacting residents, after viewing this public notice, in an attempt to sell “water purification products” and appliances to residents. Please note that the Town of Maynard does not endorse any specific product, however some activated carbon (charcoal) type filters, can help remove or lower chlorine and TTHM levels.
- For more information on filters please refer to US EPA Filter Facts at https://water.epa.gov/aboutow/ogwdw/upload/2005_11_17_faq_fs_healthseries_filtration.pdf.
- A question and answer document on health effects, precautions, and water treatment options for TTHMs has been provided by MassDEP and is available on our website.
For more information including the MassDEP’s Question and Answer Guide to Maynard’s TTHMs Exceedance please visit our website at www.townofmaynard-ma.gov or contact Tim Mullally, Water & Sewer Foreman at 978-897-1317.
Those with questions or concerns can also contact the US EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791.
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. Please translate this message for those who do not understand English.
This notice is being sent to you by the Town of Maynard
Public Water System PWS ID# 2174000.
Date Distributed: April 20, 2016