Friday, December 23, 2011

Water Treatment Byproducts Taint Colorado Town's H2O

By: Duane Craig

The process of making community water safe to drink sometimes carries its own risks. Residents in iconic Hotchkiss, Colorado, have found that out since being told not to drink their community's water for six months so they can avoid ingesting haloacetic acids, according to this report in the Houston Chronicle.

EPA warns Hotchkiss Residence not to drink the water

The Environmental Protection Agency notes that the regulated haloacetic acids include monochloroacetic acid, dichloroacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid, monobromoacetic acid, and dibromoacetic acid and that water systems have to limit those to 60 parts per billion on an annual average. Hotchkiss' average was 61 ppb. These acids form when disinfecting agents interact with organic substances in the water.

Fortunately, the townsfolk can still keep up their personal hygiene since these types of contaminants don't transfer through the skin readily, so bathing won't pose a risk. Their big brothers, trihalomethanes (THMs), haloketones (HKs) are a different story and transfer through skin more easily, according to this abstract from a research paper on the subject.

No comments: