More Water Woes

The City (James) has taken a beating on it’s handling of contaminated water supply, and lets start the story on a positive note. I did receive my water bill on time and it contained a flyer with all upcoming City events, and I did notice on the 2 page flyer the word “water” was no where to be found.

June 23, 2021 The City issued another unsigned warning of City water once again being contaminated.

June 28,2021 City Commission Meeting which I attended and listened to a water update from Public Utilities, Poonam Kalkat, who stated “free chlorine” most effective way to remove toxins, then added disinfection by products can be harmful to consumers, and years ago the City switched from “free chlorine” to Chloramine which is a mixture of Chlorine & Ammonia

(Google) “Why is chloramine used for water treatment? Chloramines are disinfectants used to treat drinking water. Chloramines are most commonly formed when ammonia is added to chlorine to treat drinking water.”

“In an era of superbugs and viral pandemics, disinfecting your home or office is a top concern. but it’s important to remember that more isn’t always better when it comes to household cleaners. In fact, combining some household cleaners can be deadly. Take bleach and ammonia, for example. Mixing products containing chlorine bleach with products containing ammonia releases chloramine gas, which is toxic to people and animals.”  Story here:  https://www.healthline.com/health/bleach-and-ammonia

July 7, 2021 I received the notice from the City, delivered by mail.

Total Trihalomethanes MCL Violation at City of West Palm Beach (PWS 4501559)

Our water system recently violated a drinking water standard. Although this incident was not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what happened, what we did, and what we are doing to correct this situation.

We routinely monitor for the presence of drinking water contaminants. Testing results from the defined quarter, April 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021, will show that our system exceeded maximum contaminant level (MCL), for total trihalomethanes, a byproduct of drinking water disinfectants. The standard for total trihalomethanes is 80 micrograms per liter (µg/l). It is determined by averaging all the samples collected at each sampling location for the past 12 months. The highest level of total trihalomethanes for the city’s monitoring sites averaged over the past 12 months for July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 was 108 micrograms per liter.

What does this mean?
This is not an emergency. If it had been an emergency, you would have been notified within 24 hours. Some people who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous system, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

The paragraph above states our water system for a year residents were drinking water with 28 micrograms per liter over what is considered safe.

What should I do?

• There is nothing you need to do unless you have a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, or are elderly. These people may be at increased risk and should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers.
• You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions. If a situation arises where the water is no longer safe to drink, you will be notified within 24 hours. We will announce any emergencies through local TV stations, newspaper, and AlertPBC (Palm Beach County’s Emergency Notification System.) Additional information may be found on the city’s website wpb.org.

What happened, and What is being done?

The elevated levels of total trihalomethanes are a byproduct of the city’s need to switch to free chlorine from its normal disinfection process to respond to the elevated levels of the cyanotoxin cylindrospermopsin found at the water treatment plant. The city switched back to the use of chloramines in the distribution system on June 19, 2021. This is expected to reduce total trihalomethane levels to below the MCL. Additional samples are being collected in June to assess the overall impacts of the changes in the treatment process to address the cyanotoxins. We anticipate resolving the cause of the exceedance within the next several weeks. However, since the total trihalomethane MCL is a 12-month average, the city will need to report quarterly for the next year on its progress in meeting the MCL.

For more information, please contact Public Utilities Laboratory Manager John Maxted at (561) 822-2269 or 401 Clematis Street, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401. Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail. This notice is being sent to you by the City of West Palm Beach. State Water System ID#: 4501559. Date distributed: June 23, 2021″

West Palm Beach water violation notice
A byproduct that exceeded contaminant levels was produced by the disinfectants intended to treat the water.

“The City of West Palm Beach is alerting residents about a drinking water violation connected to the advisory that was issued weeks ago.
A byproduct that exceeded contaminant levels was produced by the disinfectants intended to treat the water. The byproduct is known as trihalomethane.
Notices will be sent out to all city water customers.
The city said the public does not need to boil water and that this is not an emergency.
If you have a severely compromised immune system, an infant or you are elderly, you may be at an increased risk.”

How can the City claim this is not an emergency then warn infants, people with severely compromised immune system and the elderly we may be at an increased risk. What the hell?

WPBF channel 25 story below.


“Days after telling residents it violated contaminants standard, West Palm insists water is safe” Wayne Washington Palm Beach Post 7/7/2021 can be read below.


So, is our water safe or not? I honestly have no idea. After the first warning which took 9 days to reach us I purchased 5 cases of purified water from Sam’s Club for a total of $15.00 and recently bought another 5 cases. I have spent $30.00 on bottled water and would appreciate it if the City would credit my water bill for that amount. My best advice, when in doubt don’t drink the water.

Someone needs to be held responsible and the buck stops with the Mayor. If he was not informed of the contamination as he claims, and I personally don’t believe he didn’t receive a heads up, who ever made the decision to not inform him needs to resign from the City.

The end