I heard that drinking Atchison’s water causes cancer. Is this true?
No, there are no cancer causing agents in the city’s water. We have good, compliant water that is safe to drink at all times; however, in about 50% of quarterly reports we do receive a violation for failing to remove enough TOC (total organic carbons) from the water. The natural presence of TOC in our water along with the introduction of chlorine, which is used to disinfect the water, can provide a medium for the formation of things called Trihalomethanes (TTHM) and Haloacetic Acids (HAA). Our water rarely goes out of compliance on either of these two items, but if someone were to drink extremely high volumes of water with high TTHM/HAA content, they could potentially face some health issues. TOC has no adverse health effects on its own, but it’s independently regulated because it can lead to the presence of TTHMs and HAAs.
The current construction at the water treatment plant is installing a new treatment process that will take care of this issue. The solution is a new disinfection method called Ozone.This method has seen success elsewhere in the world, but the chemistry is complicated and the construction is expensive. That project will wrap up later this year and after some adjustment time, we should see our Water Plant producing 100% compliant water 100% of the time about a year from now.