Water in Pinellas county will look and smell different starting today thanks to a a disinfectant, but the whole thing is sparking controversy.
A different smell and taste will be coming to the water in parts of Pinellas County.
PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - Environmental advocate, Erin Brockovich, is sounding off against Pinellas County for the way they treat their water temporarily.
Brockovich took to Facebook to say:
Since 2002, Pinellas County uses Chloramine to disinfectant the water by combining chlorine with ammonia to kill bacteria like e.coli.
The maintenance in 2017 will be from April 3 through April 24 and September 5 through September 25.
The program includes all water customers of Pinellas County as well as customers in Clearwater, Pinellas Park and Safety Harbor.
The county is letting customers know they may experience a slight difference in taste and/or smell during the temporary change. They also say some people may see a sediment in their water.
The county states they switched to Chloramine from Chlorine in 2002 because of the Environmental Protection Agency’s stricter health standards under the USEPA’s Safe Drinking Water Act.
The trihalmoethanes (THMs) that Brockovich warns about are a chemical compound that can form in the water.
A brochure of Frequently Asked Questions by Pinellas County explains that the USEPA has determined some THMs to be carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) for people.
That’s why there’s a strict guideline of not exceeding the 80 parts per billion in samples.
In 2015, Pinellas County’s yearly reported stated that from their sampling dates of February, May, August, and November, samples detected 38.5 parts per billion, less than half of what the maximum is.
Brockovich says the water will exceed the standards in the reports like this.
She also urges people in the area that smell anything that it is likely trihalomethane and to not use it.
The county replied to Brockovich’s post with a link to a lengthy statement on why they do this maintenance.