ORONO, Maine — A “community conversation” has been scheduled at the end of Tuesday’s Orono-Veazie Water District meeting, which has been moved to the Orono High School cafeteria to accommodate expected crowds.
The regular business meeting will start at 6 p.m. Feb. 11 and will be followed by the community conversation about water quality at about 7 p.m., according to an email from the town.
“All are welcome to attend,” the email states.
A group of concerned citizens have questioned the water district about testing for a disinfection byproduct called trihalomethanes linked to cancer and other health problems.
At issue is the level of trihalomethanes, or THMs, a group of four chemical compounds, including chloroform, that form when chlorine used to kill bacteria reacts with naturally occurring organic matter, such as decaying leaves, algae and human or animal waste.
The Orono-Veazie Water District exceeded the annual average 80 parts per billion limit for THMs in 2012 and is under a consent order with the state that requires it to hire a consultant, come up with a plan to address the problem and complete the necessary improvements.
The town of Veazie is paying for independent water testing at 10 homes in town.
The residents are concerned about trihalomethanes contamination levels, testing locations and water flushing. Many went to a city council meeting last week asking to be heard on the issues.
The meeting was originally scheduled to be hosted by the council on Feb. 12, but it was rescheduled late Wednesday by town officials to the end of the public water district meeting.