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Gladewater officials: Water safe despite notice

By Christina Lane
June 4, 2012 at 11 p.m.

Gladewater residents will be receiving a notice about elevated levels of a potentially harmful compound in the city's water; however, Veolia Water and city officials said Monday the water is safe to drink.

According to a notice being sent out by the city, a recent analysis of drinking water produced for Gladewater by Veolia Water showed slightly elevated levels of a compound known as trihalomethanes. Don Martin of Veolia Water said trihalomethanes are a byproduct formed when chlorine, used to disinfect water, is given time to react with organic substances also present in the water.

However, the test is calculated on a 12-month average meaning test results are from last year's water, Martin said.

The City of Gladewater recently launched a new water treatment plant and has put procedures in place, such making proper chemical additions and adjustments, with the new treatment system to reduce the problem moving forward, Martin said.

"The slightest elevation of trihalomethanes triggers an immediate response by the city to determine the source, and review treatment processes to make sure the water is always safe to drink," the city said in a statement.

"Recent upgrades to the water treatment process in Gladewater will insure safe, clean drinking water for decades to come. But it was during construction of these upgrades when the THM levels rose slightly."

Any time the level of trihalomethanes in water exceeds 0.080 milligrams per liter, the city is required to notify residents, City Manager Sean Pate said. The city's trihalomethanes in the water were 0.082 milligrams per liter.

Some people who drink them over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidney or central nervous systems and may have an increased risk of cancer, Martin said.

In the meantime, residents do not need to use an alternative source for water, the city said.



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