Clinton officials discuss minor water standard violation found in sample; Not harmful to residents

CLINTON, Miss. (WJTV) — City of Clinton officials said they are making residents aware of a sample that showed that their water system violated a drinking water standard.

They said the system exceeded the maximum contaminant level for Total Trihalomethanes. The said this is not a water emergency.

Clinton officials said TTHMs are common byproducts that form during the water disinfection process. They said this detection of  TTHMs is not harmful to the body, they said.

Officials held the news conference Tuesday to tell the public that the normal standard for TTHMS is 0.080 mg/L. In the fourth quarter last year, a testing sample showed a measurement of 0.081 at one site located off Clinton Tinnon Road. The standard and the level detected at that one site had a difference of only 0.001 mg/L.

Mayor Phil Fisher said three other sites were tested, and they were within acceptable limits.

Residents do not need to boil water or take other actions, officials said. However, they are asking anyone with specific health concerns to consult a doctor just as a precaution. Anyone with a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, are pregnant, or elderly, you could be at increased risk and should seek medical advice from a health care provider about the drinking water.

Without providing notices to residents, the city could face a $25,000 a day fine from the Mississippi State Department of Health, Mayor Fisher said.

City officials explained how TTHMs are formed in a news release to the media:

TTHMs are common disinfection process byproducts that form when chlorine reacts with natural organic material present in the source water. Chlorination is a necessary, EPA-supported process that disinfects drinking water and protects the public against potential diseases transmitted through the water supply. Although an increase of TTHMs was detected, the water remains safe to drink and use for cooking, bathing and cleaning.

Since the samples were taken last year, city officials said new samples were collected and they show that the water system is meeting the standard.

People who drink water containing TTHMs in excess of the maximum contaminant level for years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous system.

They said this detection that was found in Clinton is not a recurring issue.

WJTV asked the Mississippi Department of Health the following questions:

1. What’s the time frame for notifying cities of test results?

– There’s a compliance period and the period is when testing is done. When results come back, the city gets them.

2. Is the time frame impacted by the severity of results or standards violations?

– No.

3. When was the city of Clinton notified of the test results from the fourth quarter of 2015?

– February 29, 2016

4. Have problems like this and like the test results for lead in Jackson been around a long time?

– Yes.

5 Are we more aware of it because of bigger issues in places like Flint?

– Yes. Jackson has never been out of compliance with lead before but it’s not unusual. 4 other systems were out of                       compliance at the same time.



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