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Veazie independent water testing shows acceptable levels of potentially harmful chemicals

BDN photo by Nok-Noi Ricker | bdn
BDN photo by Nok-Noi Ricker | bdn
Two members of the Orono-Veazie Water District trustees and Water District Superintendent Dennis Cross, center, sit down at the head of the table during a Jan. 29, 2014 meeting of the Orono finance-community development-operations committee, where they gave an update about problems the water district is facing.
By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

VEAZIE, Maine — The results of independent water testing for trihalomethanes — water disinfection byproducts that are suspected carcinogens — at 10 homes in town earlier this month are back and levels are below the EPA’s limit of 80 parts per billion.

The numbers ranged from a low of 54.9 on Randolph Drive to a high of 70 on Ridgeview Drive, and were posted on the town’s website early Tuesday. The water from the homes was collected on Feb. 19.

Trihalomethanes are 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.

Veazie town officials decided to hire Nelson Analytical Lab of Kennebunk to conduct the water tests for trihalomethanes, or THMs, in response to a group of residents who question the reliability of testing done by the Orono-Veazie Water District.

The water district exceeded the EPA’s annual average 80 parts per billion limit for THMs in 2012 and was ordered by the state to hire a consultant, come up with a plan to address the problem and complete the necessary improvements. The water district was released from the consent order in January, Roger Crouse, Maine Drinking Water Program director, said at the last water district meeting.

The 2013 average for THMs was 76 parts per billion and the most recent test was 66 parts per billion, Water District Superintendent Dennis Cross said at the Feb. 11 meeting.

The communities need a new water source and have already gained approval for a nearly $300,000 loan from the Maine Drinking Water Program to test and purchase land for a new well.


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