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Port of West St. Mary plant in violation of drinking water rules

Posted at 4:48 PM, Jan 21, 2020

The Port of West St. Mary is currently in violation of the State Sanitory Code and federal drinking water rules.

The Port, which provides drinking water for industry in the port area, has exceeded the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for total trihalomethanes.

The public notice says the violation is not an emergency.

Here's the notice:

The Port of West St. Mary is currently in violation of the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for total trihalomethanes as set forth by the State [Part XII of the Louisiana State Sanitary Code (LAC 51:XII)]and the Federal Primary Drinking Water Regulations (40 CFR Part 141).

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) set drinking water standards and requires the disinfection of drinking water. Where disinfection is used in the treatment of drinking water, disinfectants combine with naturally occurring organic and inorganic matter present in water to form chemicals called disinfection byproducts (DBPs). EPA and LDH set standards for controlling the levels of disinfectants and DBPs in drinking water, including trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acid (HAAs). Some people who drink water containing THMs in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys or central nervous system, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

In December 1998, EPA set enforceable drinking water standards for TTHMs at 80 parts per billion (ppb) and for HAA5 at 60 parts per billion (ppb) to reduce the risk of cancer or other adverse health effects. Compliance with the TTHMs and HAA5 standards for public water systems serving less than 10,000 individuals initially became effective and enforceable on January 1, 2004. Compliance with the TTHM standard is determined by calculating a locational running annual average (LRAA) of quarterly TTHMs sample results. Compliance calculations performed for the four quarter of 2019 show that the system's current TTHMs LRAAs are 100 ppb at DBP01 - 100 Kim Lane; thus, the system is currently in violation of the TTHMs standards.

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

This is not an emergency. If it had been, you would have been notified immediately. EPA and LDH do not consider this violation to have any serious adverse health effects on human health as a result of short-term exposure; however, continued long-term exposure to TTHMs and HAA5 levels above the standard (e.g., 20 years exposure) has the potential to have serious adverse effects on human health.

Necessary action has been taken to prevent this violation from recurring. If you have any questions regarding this Public Notice, please contact David Allain, Executive Director, PORT OF WEST ST. MARY WATER PLANT, 337-828-3410.