BCWA facing potential health department violation

BCWA facing potential health department violation


The Bristol County Water Authority is expected to issue a press release Thursday regarding a potential violation of Environmental Protection Agency trihalomethane regulations.

BCWA Executive Director Pamela Marchand addressed the issue at Wednesday night’s board of directors meeting. She said that while the EPA previously required THM levels under an annual running average of 100 or 80 parts per billion, revised regulations limit levels to a running quarterly average of 80 parts per billion.

Ms. Marchand said she learned of the situation Wednesday morning and the BCWA has already received two tests this year exceeding this threshold while results are out on a third set of samples.

Ms. Marchand said THMs are formed over time by chlorine interacting with natural organics in a water supply. Ms. Marchand said chlorine is added regularly in summer months and samples are pulled from eight locations around the district four times a year.

Ms. Marchand said testing has shown long-term exposure to THMs can be a possible pre-cursor to kidney disease or cancer in animals.

Director Robert Allio said he was concerned with quelling the anxiety of ratepayers. He suggested the board prepare a press release. BCWA attorney Sandra Mack agreed.

Ms. Marchand also said steps to decrease THM levels are already contained in the BCWA’s capital plan.

Check back in later for more on this story.


  1. Wish they would test the 2400 low pressure ratepayer area’s for contaminates, especially those who have water pumps. The RI health department has stated and are formulating rules for people who have pressure less than 20 coming in their house as they are at higher risk of contaminates into their drinking water.

    Not to mention the helper pumps in the house actually sucking the water from the street pipes create an even higher risk of that since they disturb the sediments in the pipes that lays there do to low pressure, pulling that in to the house as well. This is proven by in house filter systems that last only 1/3 the time they do in a normal pressure ratepayer also with pump failures and appliances such as dishwashers that fail in 1/2 the time of their life span or sooner.

    One wonder where the concern for this is? The average ratepayer obviously matter much less that franklin street apartment complex. Yet we face greater danger to our health then they did. We also pay anywhere from 2 to 3 times for our water than regular ratepayers due to the pumps and filter systems we must have that the BCWA will not fix going on over 25 years now that I have been a customer.

    Funny how they say it is about money, but not about money on flanklin and popaquash, RWU area etc. These low pressure area’s exist in all three towns and the BCWA and politicians could not give a damn. Not to mention 50% of fire hydrants under required pressure. Disgusting and criminal in my book.

  2. 2010

    Hello I am replying to your email below regarding federal funds for BCWA. Federal funds are available for water projects such as the one you have mentioned below. In most circumstances the money is given directly to the state to distribute. I’m not sure whether BCWA has sought assistance from the state, but I will try to find out.



    Ms. Rele Abiade
    Policy and Projects
    U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
    170 Westminster Street, Suite 1100
    Providence, RI 02903
    Phone: (401) 453-5294
    [email protected]

    Update is that absolutly nothing has been done.