IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DRINKING WATER
Mohawk Valley Water Authority Did Not Meet Treatment Requirements
Our water system recently violated a drinking water standard. Although this was not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we did to correct this situation.
What is being done?
We routinely monitor your water for turbidity (cloudiness). This tells us whether we are effectively filtering the water supply. On September 10, 2016, at approximately 1:30am, a process alarm notified staff of a problem. The primary computer that controls flows, valves, and levels within the treatment plant failed. While the system was being corrected, filtered turbidity levels rose to a maximum value of 4.4 NTU*. Levels remained >1, the maximum allowable level, for approximately 75 minutes before returning to allowable levels. It is noteworthy that the water with elevated turbidity never entered the distribution system. Finished water turbidities, (the water leaving the treatment plant facility), never rose above 0.5 NTU. The main control computer was fully operational by 11:30am.
*NTU = Nephelometric Turbidity Unit. A measure of the clarity of the water
During this time, the chlorine dose was increased to enhance the disinfection process. Bacteriological samples were collected from the entry point and from several sites within the distribution system. Those samples were all negative; i.e. free from contamination. Additionally, data from monitoring stations within the system are indicative of proper disinfection and public health protection.
What should I do?
• There is nothing you need to do. You do not need to boil your water or take other actions. We do not know of any contamination, and none of our testing has shown disease-causing organisms in the drinking water.
• If you have a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, are pregnant, or are elderly, you may be at increased risk and should seek advice from your health care providers about drinking this water. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.
What does this mean?
This is not an emergency. If it had been, you would have been notified within 24 hours. *Turbidity has no health effects. However, turbidity can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. Turbidity may indicate the presence of disease causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches.* These symptoms are not caused only by organisms in drinking water. If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist, you may want to seek medical advice.
For more information, please contact MVWA at 315-792-0301 or 1 Kennedy Plaza, Utica, NY 13502.
*Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.*
This notice is being sent to you by Mohawk Valley Water Authority. PWS ID#: NY3202411.
Date distributed: September 19, 2016