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After violation, Woodlands JPA says water safe to drink in MUD 60

April 19, 2017 GMT

The Woodlands Joint Powers Agency wants to reassure residents that tap water is safe to drink in Municipal Utility District 60 in spite of a recent notice by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality informing residents that a violation had occurred.

Earlier this month, residents in MUD 60 received a letter warning them water tests indicated the water exceeded the maximum contaminant level for trihalomethanes. According to the TECQ, trihalomethanes chemicals are formed when organic carbon reacts with chlorine, which is used to disinfect water against pathogenic organisms.

However, as of Monday, those levels had dropped below the MCL.

MUD 60 includes the area south of Woodlands Parkway from Gosling Road west to just past Kuykendahl Road. The MUD also extends north a slight distance along the east side of Kuykendahl Road.

“Drinking water must be chlorinated to protect the health of consumers,” the notice stated. “Trihalomethane production occurs as chlorinated water remains in the water distribution system for an extended length of time. Water that continually flows through distribution lines has a reduced possibility of producing trihalomethanes. TCEQ requires frequent flushing of water lines to assist in areas of low water demand. This violation occurred in an area where demand is lower and water remained in the pipe longer.”

James M. Stinson, WJPA general manager, said the issue is continuing to be addressed by the staff.

“More frequent water line flushing is underway,” he said. “Additional safeguards may include modification of surface water and groundwater blending rates, and adjusting chlorine disinfectant residual levels.”

Current measurements for total trihalomethanes are below the maximum contaminant level and within the federal and state drinking water standards.

Although the violation was not an emergency, Stinson said, informing consumers is an important strategy to protect public health and keep customers informed. He said the TCEQ requires specific language in notices sent to customers, including “Some people who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidney, or central nervous systems, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer. You do not need to use an alternative water supply. However, if you have health concerns, you may want to talk to your doctor to get more information about how this may affect you.”

MUD 60 is one of 10 MUDs managed by The Woodlands Joint Powers Agency in South Montgomery County.

The Woodlands MUDs, along with the San Jacinto River Authority, routinely monitor drinking water throughout The Woodlands for a variety of contaminants.

“This is the first time in 10 years of testing that an MCL violation has occurred,” Stinson said.

For information, call 855-H2o-SAVE (855-426-7283), extension 4.