TMU notified of additional water samples containing lead

Generic City Water

The city of Trenton has been notified that five additional water samples have tested above the EPA action level for lead in drinking water.

Counting three that were above government limits last fall, this brings to eight, the number of locations that were above fifteen parts per billion regarding lead in household drinking water.

In the most recent study, 40 locations in Trenton were sampled. Results of the lab tests were provided to Trenton Municipal by the Department of Natural Resources. Utility Director Ron Urton said the five houses are scattered in the west part of Trenton. Thirty-five other locations tested below the EPA action level.

As part of the followup from water sampling last fall, Urton said the three sites that previously tested above allowable limits of lead were re-tested and this time, each came in below lead limits.

Trenton Municipal is required by the state to collect water samples each quarter from residential locations. It’s part of the continued effort to monitor the lead levels. These are locations within the city known to have lead service lines which contribute to a higher probability for the potential release of lead into drinking water.

Regarding the effort to minimize or perhaps eliminate the problem, Urton said the city is seeking final approval from Missouri Department of Natural Resources to inject a chemical, orthophosphate, into the water system. Urton described this as a common treatment process used in other cities and has been shown to reduce the potential for the release of lead in service lines. Preliminary approval was given earlier to use the chemical but Urton said DNR wants to review the city’s written plan for action before giving its final okay.

All tested locations have been notified of the results. Additional water samples will be collected in June for the next round of testing. Trenton Municipal customers should look in their forthcoming utility bill for information and tips on how to reduce the risk of exposure to lead. The city of Trenton continues to offer a water quality hotline, manned by an engineering company if customers have questions or concerns on this issue. That telephone number is 660 234 9172.

On an unrelated topic, Ron Urton reported efforts are underway to improve the taste of Trenton drinking water. He said the problem has been traced to a Winter algae sometimes present at the reservoir. Urton said a chemical, known as copper sulfate, was being added to the water supply this week. The process involves granules that are mixed with the water around the city reservoir.

Regarding work at Trenton’s’ water towers, Urton said Burns and McDonnel have offered to inspect the interior of both tanks to see what repairs or improvements need to be done; then submit a report to the city in June for consideration. Each tower would be drained at different times to allow for the inspection inside.

Rather than painting the exterior of both water towers this year, Urton said it’s possible one will be done this year and the other next year. $661,000 is the cost the contractor, Ozark Applicators, says covers only exterior inspections and painting. The city in January signed a contract with Ozark Applicators and included the funds in the 2018-19 TMU budget.