BERRYVILLE — Levels of haloacetic acids (HAAs) in Berryville's water supply are back in compliance with state drinking water standards.
The Berryville Town Council was informed of the compliance on Tuesday night, and an official notice was posted on the town's website Wednesday morning.
HAAs are byproducts formed when chlorine used to disinfect drinking water reacts with natural organic matter in the water. People who drink water containing high levels of HAAs over many years may have an increased risk of getting cancer and/or liver, pancreas, brain, testicular and nervous system problems, according to health officials.
The standard for HAAs in public water systems is no more than 0.060 mg/L. In late January, the town notified utility customers that the average level of HAAs in Berryville’s water supply last year was 0.061 mg/L, based on tests conducted every three months. That resulted in a public advisory being issued.
However, residents weren't advised to use alternative water sources.
According to the notice, water testing from the second quarter of 2022 through the first quarter of 2023 showed the average level of HAAs was 0.060 mg/L. The latest test, done in late February, showed the level was 0.040 mg/L.
"We'll (town staff) continue to work to make sure the byproduct levels are as low as possible," Town Manager Keith Dalton told council members. They didn't comment at length.
Berryville's 2022 Water Quality Report is being prepared. When finished, it will be mailed to water customers, probably in late spring. It will detail matters involved in providing drinking water and ensuring it's safe.
Also on Tuesday night, the council learned that the installation of a new water main along Josephine Street has started.
Several years ago, the town replaced a section of a water main between Church Street and a fire hydrant on Josephine. In doing so, the pipe's size was increased from 4 to 12 inches in diameter. The current project involves upgrading the rest of the main eastward toward the Berryville Graphics plant entrance to a 12-inch pipe.
Repairs to some water laterals initially had to be made, Public Works Director Rick Boor wrote in a report the council. But the contractor, General Excavation Inc., is "now making good progress" with the project, he wrote.
As part of the installation, boring under the railroad tracks will be necessary. GEI is attempting to get a subcontractor in to do the boring by late March or early April, Dalton said.
For their convenience, owners of properties along Josephine Street will be notified before any boring occurs, he added.
The council scheduled a public hearing for 7 p.m. April 11 on the town's proposed tax rates for the fiscal year that will start July 1. None of the rates are set to increase.
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