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Post Date:02/08/2019 8:00 AM

On April 11, 2018 the Oak Creek Water and Sewer Utility detected an elevated disinfection byproducts level in one of the samples taken from the water system.  This is the fourth follow-up notice informing you that no action is needed.  The water remains safe to drink and use as normal.  We wanted to inform all customers about the follow-up testing, what you should do, and what was done to correct this situation, as you have a right to know.  Previous notices were mailed on May 21, 2018, August 15, 2018, and November 15, 2018.

Once every three months we sample two different locations in the water system for various contaminants including disinfection byproducts.  A single sample taken, on April 11, 2018, in the 2300 block of W. Ryan Road increased the calculated locational running annual average to 0.141 milligrams per liter (mg/L) which exceeds the standard of 0.080 mg/L.  Specifically, the elevated level was for total trihalomethanes.

The other sample site, tested on the same day, reported 0.023 mg/L well below the standard and more representative of historical sample results.  We have resampled the site on W. Ryan Road six times and the repeat samples average 0.039 mg/L again well below the standard, as expected.  We will continue to monitor this site and the entire water system.  You will receive an additional letter every three months until the calculated annual average is below 0.080 mg/L.

We now know the sample site in the 2300 block of W. Ryan Road was adversely affected by the private premise plumbing and is not representative of the Oak Creek water system.  We are pleased to inform you that the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has approved a new sampling site location to better represent water in the public water system.

Some people who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of the standard over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous system, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.  You do not need to take any action at this time.  However, if you have specific health concerns, you may wish to consult your doctor.

Trihalomethanes are disinfection byproducts resulting from our chlorination of the water to minimize risk of microbial life in the drinking water. The EPA considers microbial contaminants as the greatest risk to the public.  We have proposed a water quality improvement project that would allow us to begin to reduce the amount of chemicals, like chlorine, added to the water with the addition of ultraviolet light disinfection (UV) thereby reducing the disinfection byproducts formed, but our wholesale customer, the City of Franklin, continues efforts to oppose and delay this important public health improvement.  We will continue making strides to reduce disinfection byproducts without increasing microbial risks to you.

Please share this information with everyone who may drink this water, including those who may not have received this notice directly.  You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand, email, or mail.

If you have any questions, please contact Mike Sullivan, General Manager, Oak Creek Water & Sewer Utility at (414) 570-8210.

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