Warren Water
Water Quality
Public Notices
Managing Quality

Can what happened in Flint occur in our drinking water?

No. To the best of our knowledge, Warren Water does not have any lead service lines. In the 1990’s, our system was evaluated in accordance to EPA standards and was categorized as low risk for lead and copper. Since that determination, we continue to test for lead and copper in our system without any levels exceeding EPA standards.

I remember receiving a prior notice on Haloacetic Acids – what was that about?

Haloacetic acids (HAAs) are organic compounds that are formed when drinking water is disinfected with chlorine to kill bacteria and viruses from our water source – the Barren River. These acids are suspected to increase the risk of cancer, when exposure occurs at high levels for many decades, but additional research is needed to reinforce that suspicion. Warren Water began testing quarterly for HAAs in 2001 as required by the EPA. In 2013 the EPA method for calculating the locational running average became more stringent. Last fall, Warren Water testing had a higher than normal result causing our running average to reach 67 ppb, slightly above the EPA limit of 60 ppb. Following EPA regulations, Warren Water sent a notice to our customers.

What is Warren Water doing to reduce Haloacetic Acids?

The treatment process is critical to controlling the formation of HAAs in water. Warren water is working with our water supplier, Bowling Green Municipal Utilities, on the implementation of disinfection improvements that will reduce the formation of HAAs. While that process change will take time, Warren Water will continue to optimize our system performance.

How can HAAs affect my health?

Low levels of HAAs found in drinking water are highly unlikely to cause any human health problems. There is some evidence from animal studies that exposure to extremely high levels of HAAs, over many decades, may slightly increase a person’s risk of getting bladder cancer. In early studies, exposure to HAAs in drinking water showed a possible association with lower birth weights. However, recent studies have not found a significant association.

What should I do?

This is not an immediate or likely risk. If it had been an immediate public health concern, you would have been notified right away. If you are concerned about HAAs, carbon filtration can be used to filter your tap water and reduce HAA exposure.

Why do we disinfect the water?

Disinfection of drinking water is identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the most significant public health achievements of the 20th Century. In the early 1900s, before disinfection of water was widely adopted, water-borne diseases such as typhoid, cholera and diphtheria killed many thousands of people.

Should we drink bottled water?

The EPA encourages people to drink and use tap water provided by a water service that meets EPA standards. Bottled water is not regulated by the EPA.

Why not change to disinfection methods that don't create DBPs?

All chemical disinfectants have byproducts. Public health regulations require that water be disinfected at the treatment plant and that some disinfectant remain with the water until it arrives at your taps. Some utilities have adopted non-chemical disinfection methods, such as ultraviolet light. Not only is this method very expensive both to install and maintain, but it does not solve the problem of disinfecting the water after it leaves the plant. Utilities with ultraviolet systems still add small amounts of disinfectant to the water as a final treatment step before release, therefore, the problem of byproducts may be reduced yet not eliminated.

What has changed about the monitoring required by the EPA?

The new standards do not change the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for the byproducts. What they change is the way the system average is calculated. Before, a water provider averaged readings from all checkpoints, and compliance meant keeping that average below the limit. Under the new rules, each checkpoint must remain below the limit individually.

523 US Highway 31-W Bypass PO Box 10180 Bowling Green, KY 42101 Phone - 270-842-0052 © 2015