All 3,600-plus water customers in the city of York have been told that recent testing found elevated levels of a chemical that put the city’s water standards in violation of state standards, but both city and South Carolina officials say there is no immediate health risk to the public.
Amid drought conditions, the city is flushing 46,000 gallons of water a day out of its system to bring its water back into compliance, City Manager Charles Helms said.
The water tested slightly higher for trihalomethane, a chemical byproduct created when chlorine used to treat drinking water mixes with organic material. It can, if consumed in excess over years, cause health problems. City and state officials say the problem was short-lived and the city is correcting it under a consent order with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.
York was required to notify customers and did, said Jim Beasley, a spokesman for DHEC. Beasley said testing showed there is “no immediate risk” from the water and standards for exposure are based on lifetime exposure.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency sets guidelines for water quality.
In the letter received by customers this week, the city acknowledged violating the water standards but assured people of the water quality. The letter also stated that people with certain medical conditions, immune disorders or other problems should seek medical advice about the water if anyone had concerns.
York buys its water from the city of Rock Hill, which pipes the water in from Lake Wylie. Rock Hill has not had any water standards problems, a city spokesperson said.
York is at the “end of the line” for water and the samples taken almost a year ago in September on Springlake Road – one of two sampling sites – were high enough that the yearly total was above the standard, Helms said.
Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065