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A Note to Our Customers South of the Broad River

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Haloacetic Acids (HAA5) Information and Frequently Asked Questions


December 29, 2023

To our valued BJWSA customer:

You are receiving this notification because your property is located in the portion of our service area located south of the Broad River. We are notifying you because one of our routine, quarterly water quality tests measuring disinfection byproducts (DBPs) violated a standard for safe drinking water. This is not an emergency, but you have the right to know what happened and what we are doing to prevent the situation from reoccurring.

We are required to monitor your drinking water for the presence of DBPs on a quarterly basis. The DBPs test result average for the last four (4) quarters ending on December 31, 2023 show that our system exceeded standards, or maximum contaminant level (MCL) for haloacetic acids (HAA5). The MCL for HAA5 is calculated based on locational running annual averages (LRAA) of samples collected from the last four (4) quarters. The LRAA of HAA5 at Rose Dhu Creek sample site, located on Plantation Drive, was 0.061 milligrams per liter (mg/L) for the third quarter monitoring period for July-September 2023 and the LRAA of HAA5 at our Rose Dhu Creek sample site, located on Plantation Drive, was 0.069 mg/L for the fourth quarter monitoring period of October-December 2023. These values exceed the MCL of HAA5 of 0.060 mg/L.

Below are some questions and answers about this exceedance:

What does this mean?
HAA5s are five compounds that form when disinfectants react with natural organic material in the water. However, some people who drink water containing haloacetic acids in excess of the MCL over many years may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

What should I do?
At this time, there is no need for you to take any action. Alternative water sources are not necessary. However, if you have specific health concerns, you may choose to consult your doctor.

What happened? What is BJWSA doing to reduce the formation of HAA5?
When disinfectants, in our case chlorine, are used in the treatment of drinking water, disinfectants react with naturally occurring organic and inorganic matter in the water to form DBPs. 

In an effort to reduce the appearance of water discoloration caused by manganese in our distribution system, we increased the amount of chlorine applied at a point in the water treatment process at the Purrysburg plant. We believe this increase contributed to elevated HAA5 levels. We have adjusted the level of chlorine added to the raw water entering the plant to reduce the creation of HAA5, while balancing the chlorine required to mitigate discolored water occurrences.

BJWSA continues to resample water throughout the distribution system and is closely monitoring the levels of DBPs including HAA5s. We will continue to update you quarterly until tests indicate our four-quarter average is below the compliance limit. Further water quality information can be accessed in our annual Consumer Confidence Report which is on our website. 

Please call BJWSA customer service at 843.987.9200, or you may email at info@bjwsa.org or contact us by mail at 6 Snake Road, Okatie, SC, 29909 if you have any questions about this notice or what we are doing to maintain the delivery of safe, reliable water to your property.

Thank you.

Please share this information with others 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.

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