Saratoga County

Authority: Chlorine byproducts at safe level in Saratoga County water

Potentially harmful chlorine byproducts remain at safe levels in water treated by the Saratoga Count

Potentially harmful chlorine byproducts remain at safe levels in water treated by the Saratoga County Water Authority, even as the authority tries different methods of reducing the byproducts, officials said Thursday.

The authority is trying to lower the levels of haloacetic acids, which this summer rose above the 60 parts-per-billion federal regulatory standard.

As a result, the towns of Ballston and Wilton stopped buying water from the authority in August and have yet to resume. Clifton Park also stopped buying water, but resumed about a month ago after the HAA levels were first brought down.

Water Authority Chairman John E. Lawler said the current HAA levels are below 60 ppb, but test results are varying as the authority tries different techniques to control them. Samples have been sent to additional labs to determine whether lab error may be an issue.

“Our average is below the standard. In that sense, it’s under control,” he said.

Haloacetic acids are created by the interaction of the chlorine used to disinfect the water and the organics in the water. Long-term exposure to high levels is thought to cause health problems.

The authority draws its water from the Hudson River in Moreau, treats it with chlorine and distributes it. Lawler said various techniques are being tested to reduce the organics in the water to see what works best.

Lawler said if test results remain acceptable for another month, the authority will ask Wilton and Ballston to start buying water again under their long-term contracts with the authority.

“Certainly by the end of November if we are still meeting standards, I would expect Wilton and Ballston to meet their commitments,” Lawler said. Wilton is currently under contract to buy 300,000 gallons a day, and Ballston 175,000 gallons.

Ballston Supervisor Patti Southworth said Thursday she will rely on the recommendation of town Water Superintendent Joseph Whalen, and has yet to discuss the most recent test results with him.

The Wilton Water and Sewer Authority is looking at making some improvements in its own system that would reduce HAA levels, said Michael Mooney, the authority’s executive director. They would involve reducing storage time, since storage allows for the chemical reactions that create HAAs.

Mooney said Wilton won’t start taking delivery again until its own improvements are in place, but is willing to pay as required by its county contract until then.

The county Water Authority’s largest customer remains the GlobalFoundries computer chip plant in Malta, which has been using on average about 1.7 million gallons a day as it tests equipment.

The Water Authority, in the process of negotiating a long-term sales contract with GlobalFoundries, on Thursday extended its temporary contract with the company another 30 days.

Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply