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To all customers of the Bellingham DPW Water and Sewer Division located in Bellingham, Massachusetts
Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) are Above Drinking Water Standards

This is an important notice - please translate it for anyone who does not understand English.

This notice is to advise our customers that our water system is in noncompliance with the drinking water standards for Total Trihalomenthanes (TTHMs).  Although this is not an emergency, as our customers, you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct this situation.

We are required to monitor the drinking water for TTHM levels on a quarterly basis (once every three months) at four specific locations in the distribution system.  Quarterly samples taken on February 20, 2018 show that our system did not exceeded the standard or maximum contaminant level (MCL) for TTHMs, which is 80 parts per billion (ppb), and the MCL for HAA5, which is 60 ppb at any location. However, compliance with MCLs for TTHMs and HAA5s are calculated based on a locational running annual average (LRAA) of samples collected during the last four quarters (an average of the results found at each location over the past year).  The LRAA levels for TTHMs and HAA5s continue to exceed the standard or maximum contaminant level (MCL) for TTHMs at three out of four locations.  The locations and those averages are as follows (averages above the MCL have been highlighted):

TTHM Results
February 21, 2018 (ppb)
TTHM Running Annual Average (ppb)
DBP1 – 79 Hartford Ave.
DBP2 – 20 Cranberry Meadow
DBP4 – 342 Hartford Ave.
DBP5 – 115 North Main St.

What does this mean?  This is not an immediate risk.  If it had been, you would have been notified right away.  However, pregnant women, infants, and women of childbearing age may be at increased risk and should seek advice from their health care providers if they have any concerns.  Some people who drink water containing (TTHMs) 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.  

What happened?    TTHMs are a byproduct of chlorine disinfection which forms when chlorine combines with natural organic matter commonly found in surface water supplies and sometimes in groundwater sources.  TTHM levels can vary depending on a number of factors including the amount of chlorine used, amount of organic plant material in water sources, temperature, and seasons.  We must control TTHM levels while also maintaining appropriate levels of disinfectant in the water necessary to avoid bacterial issues.  Our water system is working with MassDEP on evaluating operations with the intention of correcting this issue.

What is being done? – We continue to work closely with MassDEP and have brought in engineers from Wright Pierce to help us resolve this non-compliance issue.  Information on the measures the DPW is taking is available from the Town website at or contact the DPW and we will mail you a hard copy.   Contact Don DiMartino, DPW Director with any questions, at 508-966-5816.

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 Bellingham DPW             PWS ID#: 2025000         Date distributed: 3/13/2018