Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Sallisaw Water Treatment Undergoing ‘Correction’

Sallisaw residents were informed this week that their water is “in violation of newly imposed water quality standards as established by the federal government.”

But, the letter goes on to say, “…there is NO IMMEDIATE HEALTH RISK TO THE PUBLIC.” The water is safe to drink, the letter states, and a correction plan is in the works.

The letter is signed by Jarod Vinson, Water Treatment Plant superintendent. He was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

The letter explains the standards, which went into effect in 2005, deal with a chemical compound that is a by-product of the chlorination disinfectant process. 

The letter relates, “The compound, trihalomethan (THM’s) is formed when chlorine that is used to kill disease causing organisms reacts with dissolved organics in raw water. Animal studies have shown that ingestion of high levels of this compound over a lifetime of exposure, may increase the risk of cancer.”

More information is available at www.EPA.GOV/safewater, the letter relates.

The letter goes on to report that latest tests indicate Sallisaw water exceeds the new standard by 3.75 percent, or 0.0003 mg/l. The test results are for 2017, and Sallisaw was informed the water was out of compliance last month.

Vinson reports water samples are being studied and evaluated to determine the best treatment process to come into compliance with the standards. A correction plan was prepared by Neel, Harvell and Associates of Sallisaw and HarChem Water Services of Muldrow. The plan will involve operational modifications at the treatment plant, Vinson reports.

He concludes, “We hope to be compliant in all areas of EPA regulations within the next few months. Quarterly notice will be sent out to update the public.”

Sallisaw water is also sold to Rural Water Districts #3 in the Central area and #4, south of Sallisaw. District #3 also sells to the town of Gans.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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