Does your water treatment system include organics removal to prevent chlorine byproducts?
“We’re not seeing all engineering consultants providing new water system designs that address organics before disinfection systems, such as chlorination and UV, and I’m concerned about it,” says BI Pure Water’s Engineering Manager, Paul Anderson. “Frankly I wouldn’t drink the water if the THMs were over 25 ppb.”
Chlorine byproducts such as THMs (all are called TTHMs), and haloacetic acids (HAA) are formed when chlorine interacts with naturally occuring organic matter in the source water. “There are serious negative health effects with long term exposure to these disinfection byproducts. The City of Vancouver is concerned enough to lower their THMs to 25 ppb. The EPA has lowered the Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule to regulate total trihalomethanes (TTHM) at a maximum allowable annual average level of 80 parts per billion (µg/L) from 100 ppb.”
“The water quality of communities, which they should have published on their websites, should indicate THMs well below the max, and we’re not seeing that. The public must demand good water treatment.”
Some UVs may even increase the problem of disinfection byproducts by breaking organic material into smaller particles with more surface area that results in even higher THMs.
BI Pure water’s senior engineer, George Thorpe, who watches the EPA studies, notes that research underway is showing that there are many more disinfection byproducts than are currently known, and long term studies on human health are underway.