Great Falls water shows increased levels of haloacetic acids

Posted at 4:01 PM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 18:09:09-04

GREAT FALLS – The City of Great Falls Public Works recently sent out a letter informing residents of haloacetic acids found in the water.

The letter states that the level of haloacetic acids went up during the second quarter of this year.

Officials says they are working working with DEQ and there is no public health concern at this time.

Public Works monitors eight sites and they found that only one of the sites had the higher levels.

Officials says this was due to a mixture of the snow melt, fast run-off from recent rain, and burn areas over the last two years.

Officials state if you do have health concerns to contact your doctor.

The following information is from the American Water Works Association:

Haloacetic acids (HAA5, HAA6Br, HAA9) are a group of disinfectant byproducts that are formed when disinfectants, such as chlorine or chloramine, are used to treat water and react with naturally occurring organic and inorganic matter present in source waters. Which HAA forms depends on several factors, so HAAs are often tracked and described as groups of individual acidic compounds. As more HAAs are included in one of these groupings, the list of compounds that contain bromide increases:

HAA5 includes: dibromoacetic acid, dichloroacetic acid, monobromoacetic acid, monochloroacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid
HAA6Br includes: bromochloroacetic acid, bromodichloroacetic acid, dibromoacetic acid, chlorodibromoacetic acid, monobromoacetic acid, tribromoacetic acid
HAA9 includes: bromochloroacetic acid, bromodichloroacetic acid, chlorodibromoacetic acid, dibromoacetic acid, dichloroacetic acid, monobromoacetic acid, monochloroacetic acid, tribromoacetic acid, trichloroacetic acid

Data from research studies indicate that several HAAs, e.g., dichloroacetic acid and trichloroacetic acid, may be carcinogenic in laboratory animals. Exposure to other HAAs has also been associated with reproductive and developmental effects in laboratory animals. The current Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) set for HAA5 is because of concern that exposure to HAAs over many years may increase the risk of cancer.

If you are concerned about haloacetic acids in your drinking water, you may consider purchasing a home treatment device. However, to make a well-informed and cost-effective decision, consider:

Checking with your water system or consumer confidence report to learn about the amount of HAA5 in your water, and
Identifying a device that has been independently certified to remove haloacetic acids.

Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News