The DeKalb-Jackson Water Supply District notified customers earlier this month that it recently violated a drinking water standard.
The letter sent out to customers said it is not an emergency, but customers have the right to know what happened, what they should do and what the water supply is doing to correct the situation.
The letter stated,” We routinely monitor for the presence of drinking water contaminants. Testing results for samples taken in August of 2019 show that our system exceeds the standard or maximum contaminant level (MCL) for total haloacetic acids (HAA5).
The standard for total haloacetic acids is .060 MG/L. The chart below lists the locations, disinfectant byproduct, and level that exceeded the maximum contaminant level.”
The locations were at 10887 County Road 88 and 1420 County Road 664 in Pisgah. The MG/L level at County Road 88 was at 0.063, and the level at County Road 664 was at 0.062. DeKalb Jackson Water Supply District Interim Manager Donna Bolton described the overage as “three drops in an Olympic sized pool in one location, and two drops in the other location.”
The letter also said it is not an immediate risk. However, some people who drink water containing total trihalomethanes in excess of the maximum contaminant level over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, central nervous system and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.
The letter says the water supply is taking corrective actions and tests taken after corrective actions continue to show improvement. Bolton said they will be testing the water again next week.
Jackson County Commission Chairman Tim Guffey said this problem arose because the water supply did not backwash to get rid of the contaminated water. Guffey spoke to employees who told him the water supply would not backwash because it would cost too much to waste that much water. Guffey said backwashing is supposed to take four hours.
Guffey said he sent a certified letter to two DeKalb-Jackson Water Authority board members asking them to attend a commission meeting because the commissioners had questions.
In that letter, Guffey said if they did not attend, he would consider that their resignation. The members did not attend the meeting. Guffey sent another letter thanking them for their service and saying two new people would be appointed at the next commission meeting.
The two members refused to step down and filed a lawsuit against the commission saying it did not have the authority to remove the board members. Guffey said they may have to go through an impeachment process to remove the two board members.
The case was brought to court in DeKalb County, but it has since been transferred to Jackson County. Guffey said they are waiting on a court date.