THM levels drop in third quarter testing



The Bristol County Water Authority recently received third quarter trihalomethane testing results with levels that fall well below federal regulations.

Trihalomethane is a chemical compound that is formed when natural organics found in surface water interact with chlorine. The compound contains chloroform, which can be harmful over over a prolonged period of time.

All eight Bristol County sample sites tested this fall came in at less than 50 parts per billion for the chemical compound, which is formed when natural organics in surface water interact with chlorine.

The Environmental Protection Agency mandates that each sample site must maintain a running annual average of less than 80 parts per billion.

At a meeting in late November, BCWA Executive Director Pamela Marchand announced that tests taken in the spring and summer from two sample sites in Bristol had tested above the 80 ppb level though the recent results bring each locations’s operational exceedance level under 80 ppb.

Ms. Marchand said the operational exceedance level is determined by an average of the first two tests individually and the most recent quarter twice.

The locational running annual average, however, remains above 80 ppb for one site in Bristol. A three-quarter average of THM levels taken near Cumberland Farms shows a level of 86 ppb.

The site must test at no higher than 62 ppb for its locational running annual average to total 80 ppb or less.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.