Wednesday, June 29, 2005

No drop left behind

"Our water system violated a drinking water standard." So begins the report on two double-sided pages in today's mail from the Tarentum Borough Water Plant explaining that monitoring requirements had not been met.

Borough bulletin boardAt the end of the notice, in fine print, is the following message:
"Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly. You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail."
It is interesting that although the Borough had this notice mailed to all its water customers, it has not published the notice in the same public place where a poster for a rabies clinic 18 days ago is still on display.

The mailed notice says that there is no emergency, and no need for anyone who drinks the local water to do anything.

The gist of the notice seems to be that three required tests of the water were not done in a timely manner. The water plant was required at least once between June 25, 2000 and June 26, 2004 to test for Gross Alpha, but did not do that test until December 7, 2004. The plant was also required to test for Synthetic Organic Chemicals at least once between April 1, 2004 and June 30, 2004, and at least once between July 1, 2004 and September 30, 2004, but did not do these tests until December 14, 2004.

The report makes clear that "There were no exceeded levels of Gross Alpha or Synthetic Organic Chemicals detected at this time." But it also says, "we cannot be sure of the quality of our drinking water during that time [when the testing should have happened]."

A summary report will be available at (keyword:"DEP source water"), but the PADEP website is currently being updated and does not have the reports available now. I guess I'll need to wait for the state site to get updated in order to learn what Gross Alpha and Synthetic Organic Chemicals are. Or for more information I could contact Jeffrey A. Adams at 724-224-9688.

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