CEDAR KNOLLS, NJ - The water system maintained by the Southeast Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority recently violated the TTHM drinking water standard, the water authority said in an email to customers. The SMCMUA provides drinking water to customers in Morristown, Morris Township, Morris Plains and Hanover Township with some service in Mendham Township and Harding Township, according to their website.

According to the notice, "the standard for Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM) is 80 micrograms per liter (ug/L), or parts per billion (ppb), calculated as a locational running annual average (LRAA), said the water authority. Compliance with the standard is determined each quarter, for each sample location, by calculating the average TTHM concentration using the results reported for the past four (4) quarters (i.e. 12 months). The Authority samples quarterly at eight (8) locations in the service area. The Authority exceeded the TTHM standard at one (1) of the eight (8) sample locations monitored. The TTHM average at the affected location for the third quarter of 2018 was 86.4 ppb which exceeded the standard and where all postal patrons in the service area were subsequently notified by mail. The third quarter 2018 TTHM LRAA was based on samples collected between 10/1/17 to 9/31/18. The TTHM average for the fourth quarter 2018 sample event was 80.9 ppb, reduced from that calculated for the third quarter of 2018; however, since this average is above the 80 ppb standard, we are required to issue a second public notification to all postal patrons in the service area. The fourth quarter 2018 TTHM LRAA was based on samples collected between 1/1/18 to 12/31/18." 

There is nothing for customers to do, the water authority said in the email. Customers do not need to boil water or take other corrective action, they said. However, if you have a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, are pregnant or are elderly, the water authority does advice that you speak to your health care provider before drinking the water.

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The water authority has since improved the water age and changed from a purchased surface water supply to an Authority owned groundwater supply, they said in the notice.  These changes resulted in a decrease in the TTHM locational average for the third quarter to fourth quarter 2018, from 86.4 ppb to 80.9 ppb, respectively, but still above the 80 ppb standard, they said.

"We anticipate that the first quarter 2019 TTHM LRAA will be below the standard where the next quarterly sample event is scheduled for January 2019. Our long-term solution is to improve water circulation by looping together dead-end water lines, installing automatic line flushing devices and to work with our water supplier to optimize the purchased sourcewater to ensure compliance with the TTHM standard", said officials.

For more information, visit the SMCMUA website at www.smcmua.org or contact their customer service department at 973-326-6880


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