Violation of Treatment Technique



The Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County (MAWC) has Violated a Treatment Technique

The Monroeville Municipal Authority (MMA) purchases your finished drinking water from the MAWC. The MMA wants to inform its customers that the MAWC Treatment Technique violation for Total Organic Carbon (TOC) removal at the George R. Sweeney Water Plant is on-going.

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.

The MAWC is required to monitor the removal of specific Disinfection Byproduct Precursors using a test called Total Organic Carbon (TOC). This public notification is to make our customers aware that the TOC level in our drinking water currently is and has been below the 2.0 mg/l level for alternative compliance since December 2018. However, the regulation requires that, to meet compliance the running annual average (RAA) for the past twelve (12) calendar months must be below 2.0 mg/l. MAWC’s RAA as of March 2019 is 1.96 mg/l. This value must be rounded up to 2.0 mg/l as stated in the regulation. Therefore MAWC did not meet the compliance criteria for TOC removal as stated in the regulation. The most recent result from March 2019 for TOC in the drinking water was 1.56 mg/l which is well below the standard. MAWC will meet the compliance criteria RAA with the 2019 2nd quarter results which will end June 30th based on our current testing and treatment.

What should I do?

  • You do not need to do anything. No alternative (i.e. bottled water) water supply or boiling the water is necessary. However, if you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor.

What does this mean?

  • This is not an immediate risk. If it had been, you would have been notified immediately. Total Organic Carbon (TOC) has NO HEALTH EFFECTS. TOC may provide a medium for the formation of disinfection byproducts. These byproducts include trihalomethanes (TTHM’s) and haloacetic acids (HAA5’s). Drinking water containing these TTHM’s and HAA5’s in EXCESS of their Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL) may lead to adverse health effects, liver, or kidney problems, or nervous system effects, and may lead to increased risk of getting cancer.
  • The MMA is and continues to be in full compliance with the TTHM and HAA5 Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL). Disinfection Byproduct concentrations recorded before, during, and after the time that this violation occurred were all below the MCL.

What happened? What was done?
Due to significant consistent rainfall during 2018 the TOC level in the raw source water was persistently higher than normal especially in the 2nd and 4th quarters of 2018. We were unable to remove the required amount of TOC in the 4th Quarter of 2018 increasing the TOC running annual average. MAWC made chemical treatment changes in its process system to reduce TOC further and is replacing the Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) in its filters to also increase removal of the TOC. These process changes have reduced the level of TOC as noted above to well below the standard.

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.

For more information please contact the Monroeville Municipal Authority at 412-372-2677.

This notice is being sent to you by the Monroeville Municipal Authority

PWS ID# 5020027

Date distributed May 6, 2019