Total Trihalomethanes are the unwanted byproduct of disinfecting polluted water.
TTHM has no federal guideline for a margin of safety in a MCLG. Maximum Contaminant Level Goal assures us that below a certain level there is no known or expected risk to health.
“Trihalomethanes aren’t found in drilling wastewater, but there can be a link. The waste stream often contains bromide, a salt, which reacts with chlorine disinfectants used by drinking water systems to kill microbes. That interaction creates trihalomethanes.
The EPA says people who drink water with elevated levels of trihalomethanes for many years have an increased risk of getting cancer and could also develop problems of the liver, kidney or central nervous system”.
In 2009 Arlington TX had a spike where TTHM’s went as high as 26 ppb. While still under the 80 ppb MCL (maximum contaminant level), this was a dramatic departure from the second highest max of 16.3 ppb in 2010.
The good news for 2009 was that the average was 14.7 ppb, so the spike did not persist the whole year, but the overall range in TTHM’s have almost TRIPLED since we embraced Urban Drilling.
Note *Ft Worth’s TTHM’s have been chronically averaging about 45 ppb and have finally started dropping in 2012 which I believe correlates to the reduced drilling in the Barnett Shale.
Impressively compared to Ft Worth, Arlington’s TTHM were low. In averaging the range from 2003-2006, the TTHM’s had a range of 4.4 – 5.8 ppb. So that averages to 5 ppb in PREDRILLING. But since drilling….
The change was an increase in TTHM’s by a factor 2.6 or 160% increase in Arlington’s drinking water.
At the very least our water reports should be broken down into two reports as we have two treatment plants.
At the very best, Arlington residents should be able to view a report online and when hovering over a field, the link to the raw data should be accessible.
We need access to transparent, usable information such as which water treatment plant was involved and the duration of the spike event.
I am willing to bet that the Arlington water treatment plant that had the spike in 2009 came from Lake Arlington which is home to many drill sites on the lake’s edge on the Ft Worth side. Was the spike in TTHM related to an unreported fracking spill that was bigger than the 2010 spill in Lake Arlington ?
Here is a cut & paste from our 2014 City of Arlington Drinking Water Quality Report that I boldfaced items of interest…
“The water in Arlington is treated at two state of the art water treatment plants. Ozone is used as the primary disinfectant. Aluminum sulfate and a cationic polymer are added to help dirt and other particles clump together and settle out during treatment. The water is then filtered through granular activated carbon beds to remove smaller particles and substances that are dissolved in the water. The water is then chloraminated (treated with chlorine and then ammonia) as it enters the clearwell for storage. Chloramine is the secondary disinfectant that keeps the water safe on its way to your faucet”.
Here is an article about a fracking waste water study that showed that Barium & Strontium doubled in Ernst’s aquifer in Canada and claims the confirmation that drilling related waste water causes cancer.
http://www.ernstversusencana.ca/new-study-confirms-fracking-wastewater-is-cancer-causing-barium-and-strontium-were-elevated-in-frac-flowback-water-exposed-cells-encana-and-alberta-government-testing-showed-barium-strontium-d…… “ ‘Malignant human cell transformation of Marcellus Shale gas drilling flow back water,’ is the first study of its kind to confirm widely held suspicions concerning the carcinogenicity of fracking pollution”.
I did blog and contacted our city about seeing bromate start to appear in our Arlington drinking water reports in 2007 when we started drilling. Bromide is in drilling mud and turns into Bromate, a disinfectant by product.
And here is my most recent letter to our city and university leaders on the subject of water quality precautions since we NOW live in a drilling town.
From: kim feil <email@example.com>
To: Kevin A. Schug <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Zacariah Hildenbrand <email@example.com>; Desiree Plata <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Jim Platt <email@example.com>; Cynthia Simmons <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Brett Shipp <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, January 8, 2016 12:08 PM
Subject: How can UTArlington help w/treat&release risks that enhance disinfection byproducts to our drinking water?
From: kim feil <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Buzz Pishkur <email@example.com>
Cc: Cynthia Simmons <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Trey Yelverton <email@example.com>; Jim Parajon <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Jeff Williams <email@example.com>; “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>; Jenny Narvaez <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, January 8, 2016 11:31 AM
Subject: scientists find in northeast enhanced disinfection byproducts – we need Barnett Shale study/recommendations
Enhanced Formation of Disinfection Byproducts in Shale Gas Wastewater-Impacted Drinking Water Supplies
—–end love letters——begin Work IN Process Arlington collection of drinking water quality reports no longer available online and no longer being mailed to Arlington residents—————-
*Here is Ft Worth’s TTHM’s in ppb by year…note they have been drilling longer (1998) than Arlington and have had persistently higher TTHM’s that average 45 ppb from 2003-2012. The decrease in 2013 & 2014 could be related to the decrease in drilling the Barnett Shale.
2003 39 ppb