The results from an independent study on Tyler Water Utilities' water sanitation practices will be released two to three weeks later than originally expected.

The independent study was commissioned after the city's water supply exceeded the acceptable level of haloacetic acids, a byproduct of the disinfection process.

The increase was detected by a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's subcontractor while doing regulatory quarterly measurements for the agency. The peak occurred in May, and the levels have been declining since then, but because of the level of public concern - due in part to multiple Facebook posts by environmental activist Erin Brockovich - the city commissioned an independent evaluation by Enprotec/Hibbs & Todd, Inc. on how to improve its water sanitation practices.

In late October, all Tyler Water Utilities customers received a notice about the levels of the acids, which are suspected carcinogens if ingested in high amounts over decades.

Haloacetic acids are "volatile organic compounds that are formed when chlorine reacts with naturally occurring matter in the water," according to the notice sent to Tyler Water Utilities customers.

The report from Enprotec/Hibbs & Todd, Inc. was expected to come within two weeks from their site visits on Nov. 9 and 10.

Tyler City Manager Ed Broussard said on Wednesday that the company was three days behind on getting the city the draft report, but he was expecting it by the end of the day. It would take about a week for the city to review the draft and make comments. Then the report would be sent back to the company to compile the final report.

The entire process should take another two to three weeks, Broussard said.

Broussard said there is no reason to worry. The city's water remains safe to drink and has been throughout the entire process.

"They are really looking at longterm steps for improvement of our processes," Broussard said, adding that so far representatives with the company have said there are no immediate short-term changes needed.

Possible changes include methods to reduce the amount of byproducts created in the process, chemicals used in the process and measures to make the system more cost-effective.

Senior Editor Roy Maynard contributed to this report.

Twitter: @TMTFaith

 

QUICK FACTS

• Tyler Water Utilities serves a population of approximately 109,242 people through 36,414 residential service connections, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 

• The city uses surface water from Lake Palestine and Tyler and has eight active wells and four emergency wells.

• The city's average production is 29 million gallons a day, with a peak daily production of 49.6 million gallons in a day. It has a production capability of 72 million gallons a day.

• The water is treated with chloramines, a mixture of chlorine and ammonia. The use of ammonia helps reduce the amount of byproducts in the water from the chlorine and keeps residuals in the water longer, according to the city.

 

 

 

Digital Content Manager

Faith Harper is an East Texas native working for her hometown newspaper. She specializes in digital content for the Tyler Morning Telegraph. In her spare time, she loves tacos, road trips and is currently learning to sail.

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