Water quality

8 years ago

To the editor:

In recent weeks, there has been considerable amount of discussion in the media regarding lead contaminated water in Flint, Michigan. Such reports are disturbing and alarming. Our reading of the situation is the city of Flint changed water source supply to the Flint River which is acidic and highly corrosive. Acidic water corrodes any lead joints in the system and contaminates the water. Fortunately, the HWC well water supply is non acidic (alkaline). The HWC’s alkaline water is non corrosive and does not displace lead into the drinking water.

Per EPA rules, all regulated utilities like Flint and HWC, are required to test for lead. Once the initial tests are performed, and if successful, the utility thereafter is only required to test for lead every three years. Because lead levels in our water supply meet or exceed EPA requirements, HWC is on a three-year cycle. We last tested for lead in September 2014 and are scheduled to test again in September 2017. All test reports are submitted for review to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

In addition to lead, HWC tests your water for a multitude of possible contaminants which include: bacteria, arsenic, turbidity, gross alpha, radon, barium, copper, fluoride, nitrate, nitrite, sodium, radium, herbicides, pesticides and asbestos. Fortunately, none of the possible contaminants have been an issue.

If you have any questions and concerns please contact the HWC at 532-2259 or visit our 21 Bangor Street office and ask for John Clark, Greg Sherman or Brian McGuire.

John Clark
Houlton Water Co.