UNION — The Union City Council has approved a request from Meansville-Riley Water Company Inc. to tie on to Woodruff-Roebuck Water District in southern Spartanburg County.
The original contract — from September 1989 — between the seller (city of Union) and purchaser (Meansville-Riley Water Company) states that MRWC needs permission from the city of Union to connect to any other districts for a source of water.
The city of Union noticed an increase in Trihalomethane (THM) levels over the last two years. THMs are a byproduct of chlorine interacting with organics. THMs occur when naturally occurring organic and inorganic materials in the water react with the disinfectants, chlorine and chloramine. Some people who drink water containing an excess of THMs over many years could experience liver, kidney or central nervous system problems and increased risk of cancer.
The city of Union’s drinking water remained and still remains in compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standards. But two of the city’s wholesale customers (including Meansville-Riley) experienced THM levels higher than the EPA standard, due to a number of factors including water age, distribution distance and additional treatment.
Upon investigation, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control determined that source waters being used by the city contained an increased concentration of bromide salts versus historical levels. Bromide salts are harmless and as such are not regulated by EPA and DHEC. Bromide salts can, however, interact with water-disinfection systems based on chlorine treatment, such as those used by the city of Union and its downstream customers. The increasing THM levels roughly correlated with the increasing bromide salt concentration. Written public notification has been sent to users served by these wholesale customers. In addition, DHEC issued a consent order to the wholesale customers requiring a plan to improve the THM levels.
Meansville-Riley Water District is pursuing an alternate source of water to minimize the THMs in its water system in the Spartanburg County area, and to improve other aspects of water service to its customers. This alternate source is part of a consent order plan Meansville-Riley Water District submitted to DHEC.
Union Utilities Director Joe Nichols recommended during Tuesday’s City Council meeting that the council allow MRWC to use the source of water in southern Spartanburg while looking for an alternate source, and council members voted unanimously to do so.
Reach staff writer Derik Vanderford at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.