Buds N Bugs: Trihalomethanes

Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 14:09 PM.

Early in November, a number of Franklin County residents received what appeared to be a fairly frightening notice in the mail informing them that their drinking water contained trihalomethanes (THM), a group of chemicals with a long name unfamiliar to the average consumer of tap water.

In spite of reassurances in the letter that the situation is not an emergency, many people found the information worrying.

What’s the truth? Is the water safe to drink?

THM is a byproduct of the process by which our drinking water is purified. It is created when chlorine, a disinfectant, combines with naturally occurring chemicals in the ground water i.e. dissolved soil.

In 2002, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection set new, tougher standards for the level of THM that is acceptable in drinking water.

Any time the amount of THM is higher than the legal limit, the agency providing the water to the public must report the excess to its customers, even if the amount of THM is only slightly higher than the acceptable limit.

Our county drinking water exceeds the legal limit by only a tiny amount.



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