Bella Vista POA: Water Safe For Consumption After Drinking Water Violations

BELLA VISTA (KFSM) -- The Bella Vista Property Owner's Association Water Utility says drinking water is safe despite a recent violation of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

The POA recently attached a letter to water bills for homeowners announcing the violation as exceeding Environmental Protection Agency limits of trihalomethanes, or THMs, which are a disinfection by-product.

Charlie Holt, superintendent of the water utility, said a quarterly water sample from April to June 2018 showed a trihalomethane level of 83 parts per billion, exceeding the maximum allowed contaminant level of 80 parts per billion.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, THMs are when chlorine, used for disinfection, mix with a naturally occurring organic material in the water, such as leaf decay.

"The majority of it happens in the water treatment process," Holt said. "Through water age, disinfection by-products can continue to form as the water gets older and the chlorine continues to dissipate."

THMs have been linked to liver, kidney and nervous system problems, as well as an increased risk of cancer when exposed over a long period of time.

In an email to 5NEWS, ADH spokeswoman Meg Mirivel, said "there is not an immediate health risk from this issue. Rather, the standard for trihalomethanes is set to limit the risk to the consumer over a lifetime of exposure assuming the consumer drinks two liters a day for a lifetime."

The water utility doesn't treat its own water, rather getting it from Bentonville, but Holt said steps will be taken to ensure a similar violation doesn't happen again.

"[We will] manage our water tank levels and try to decrease water age as much as we possibly can to prevent disinfection by-products from continuing to form throughout the distribution system," Holt said.

Results from a third-quarter water sample should be known late September or early October.