GRANT TOWN — Grant Town water recently violated a drinking water standard.

The Grant Town Water Department reported that the water in the system had higher than maximum levels of haloacetic acids. The maximum contaminant level (MCL) for haloacetic acids is 0.060 mg/L.

According to information released by Grant Town, 0.067 mg/L of haloacetic acids were detected in tests from July 1 and Sept. 30.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency website, haloacetic acids are formed when disinfectants such as chlorine and chloramine react with naturally occurring organic and inorganic materials in the water. Haloacetic acids found in excess of the MCL may increase the rick of cancer in some individuals after many years of exposure.

Grant Town water operator Bob Riggs explained that in 2014 the EPA set new standards that included the testing for haloacetic acids and other disinfection byproducts. The haloacetic acids reading was due to too much chlorine being in the system.

During the summer time, Grant Town’s supplier of water, Fairmont, lowered its chlorine levels, Riggs said. Grant Town had to issue a boil-water notice due to the lowered chlorine levels.

The new Grant Town water system has six monitoring stations throughout the area. When the chlorine levels were low, Grant town had to install a new chlorinator.

The chlorine that is put into the system is diluted and regulated by the health department. Riggs said the town had to install another pump and add chlorine in a “minute amount.”

“So you have the health department saying your chlorine level needs has to here and you have the EPA saying that test has to be at this level,” Grant Town Mayor Brad Shahan said. “(The EPA) test is a (result) of the chlorine the health department makes you put into it.”

According to Riggs, the town increasing the chlorine levels in the water caused the drinking standard violation.

“We are in the process of seeing how low we can go with our chlorinators and still keep an adequate amount of chlorine in the water in our outskirts, and that is as low as we can go,” Riggs said. “I have to guarantee that the people that live outside of Grant Town have a good supply of adequate drinking water. It is a tightrope-walking act. It is hard to do, and it takes a lot of time.”

The town is looking into putting in an additional tank to place next to a current tank to allow the water to mix and aerate.

“You are doing two things. You are bringing water from the bottom of the tank to the top, and you are spraying (water) from a sprinkler head into the contents of the tank,” Riggs said. “By doing that, you keep your chlorine in the water but you dissolve the haloacetic acids.”

The state health department will be meeting with the town on Monday, Oct. 20 at the community building. The department is visiting to answer questions.

Email Richard Babich at or follow him on Twitter @rbabichTWV.

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