Mena Water, Acorn Water, and Freedom Water customers will soon receive notices of an Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) violation regarding the treatment of the water shared Charles Pittman, General Manager of Mena Water utilities.
“The ADH notified Mena Water Utilities’ staff the first week of December that a regular monthly sample of treated water taken the week before had a slightly higher than allowed amount of the disinfectant by-product Chlorite in the water,” said Pittman.
The Arkansas Department of Health has advised the water system that there is no immediate health risk from consuming the water. Failure to meet the following requirement does not mean that the water is unsafe or that alternate sources of water should be used.
“The Chlorite disinfection by-products result from the use of chlorine dioxide to disinfect drinking water. The maximum concentration of chlorite (a disinfection byproduct) in the water at the entry point or within the distribution system cannot exceed 1 milligram per liter. A concentration of 1.1 mg/l was measured in your system in the month of December 2020,” explained Pittman.
Utility staff immediately discovered that a chemical feed pump that was malfunctioning and it was adjusted until it could be replaced. In addition to replacing the original pump with a more reliable model, a restricting valve was installed to a provide secondary preventative measure to avoid overfeeding in the future.
Mena Water transitioned to chlorine dioxide pre-disinfection in 2014 to lower the levels of disinfection by-products caused by straight chlorine disinfection.
The EPA had determined that disinfection by-products from straight chlorine disinfection could cause health issues when ingested in large amounts over many years.