Commerce, Texas, has received a letter warning residents about the contaminated water supply. Tests for trihalomethanes and haloacetic acid found that Commerce’s water supply exceeded government-set thresholds. These contaminants can cause cancer if consumed in high quantities. But, these contaminants are not organic, and boiling water has no effect on them. Fortunately, a consumer-grade water filter is readily available to remove them from your home.
To determine if your drinking water is contaminated with trihalomethanes, first find out if your water has a strong chlorine smell. If it smells like diluted lake water, you may have a problem. If the water is discolored for extended periods of time, you should conduct a trace metal test, as well. In addition to trihalomethanes, there may be other contaminants in your water. For example, if you have intermittent discolored water or notice it in your Consumer Confidence Report, you may have corrosion.
The EPA records violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act for lead and copper in water systems. Lead and copper can be deposited in water from one water system to another. In Commerce, ninety percent of water samples fell below the 0.015 mg/L action level. However, about ten percent contained more lead than the action level. As a result, the water system must report any results to the public and state health department.
The Safe Drinking Water Act defines lead-free water as free of lead in the water used for drinking and manufacturing. While some plumbing devices are exempt from lead free requirements, this definition is not completely clear. For example, a flushometer valve may contain a trace amount of lead, while a tub filler may contain up to eight percent. The Safe Drinking Water Act also requires plumbing fittings and fixtures to be lead-free.
Although PFAS are currently unregulated, the growing awareness of PFAS’ health risks is prompting increased regulatory attention from state and federal bodies. While there are many reasons why PFAS should be regulated, a primary concern is that the chemicals may cause cancer. Because they’re persistent, it’s not possible to safely treat wastewater from a PFAS-contaminated source. Therefore, proper management of PFAS waste is crucial.
Until recently, these substances were thought to be extremely rare, but they’ve been found in alarming levels in communities in the past few years. In Fountain and Security, where runoff from Peterson Air Force Base contaminated the groundwater, the cities had to install new treatment systems to reduce the levels of the chemicals in their water. Other communities near the Suncor Refinery in Adams County and Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora have also reported elevated levels of these chemicals in their water.
Although the environmental effects of trihaloacetic acid in commerce water are still being debated, the EPA has classified the compound as a Group 2B carcinogen. The study’s data shows that trichloroacetic acid is present in traces in water, soil, and air. The acid is a byproduct of the disinfection process. It is an odorless, colorless, and corrosive gas that is present in the atmosphere.
The concentrations of the two acids vary widely and have different chemical properties. The acid strength increases with the amount of strongly electron-withdrawing groups in the water. The more strongly electronegative a substance is, the higher its vant Hoff factor is. Consequently, trihaloacetic acid is the strongest acid, with the lowest freezing point. However, it does not affect freezing point as much as other acidic substances.