BRINDISI REVEALS: NEW REPORT SAYS LOCAL WATER HAS HIGH LEVELS OF CANCER-CAUSING CHEMICALS LIKE CHLOROFORM; WATER AUTHORITY POSSIBLY OVERUSING TREATMENT CHEMICALS; ASSEMBLYMAN PUSHES FOR
DEC EPA TO CONDUCT INDEPENDENT TEST SO WE CAN GET ANSWERS; URGES MVWA TREATMENT CONTRACTOR TO ACT
Non-Partisan National Group Spent Years Digging Through Nation’s Water Supply By Zip Code, Including Mohawk Valley, Found That Our MVWA Water Contains High Levels Of Certain Cancer-Causing Treatment Chemicals When Compared To Others In NYS Brindisi Says This Could Be A Simple Treatment Fix, But If MVWA Numbers Align With National/State Drinking Standards—He STILL Wants Water Authority’s Just-Contracted
He STILL Wants Water Authority’s Just-Contracted Treatment Team To Brief Public Because We All Drink This Water! Brindisi: Only Crystal Clear Answers Water Will Do; MVWA Brand New Treatment Contract Must Address This Issue…
(UTICA) — Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi of Utica revealed today that a recently developed database established by the nonpartisan Environmental Working Group (EWG) shows drinking water tested from the Mohawk Valley Water Authority (MVWA) System shows higher than average levels of potential carcinogens—like chloroform—commonly found through the purification of public water. And now Brindisi is demanding answers. “After inquiries to my office and looking into this matter myself for weeks, I can report, today, that I am asking the state DEC and the federal EPA to come to Utica and independently test our local water for levels of carcinogens that are too high when compared to some of our regional neighbors,” State Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi said. “Water from the Mohawk Valley
Water Authority system and many others in New York contain levels of four contaminants above established health guidelines—including levels of chloroform at more than four times the state of New York average. It is my hope that this problem can be corrected through a
simple treatment fix.”
Brindisi is also calling out the MVWA’s brand new water treatment contractors—SUEZ North America—and telling them to immediately compile a report on our area’s water, their experiences with treatment chemicals and to detail and explain as to why MVWA treatment
chemicals appear to be a lot higher than regional neighbors.
“I want SUEZ North America, the company just contracted by the Authority to operate its water treatment plant, to issue a detailed report to the public on these findings, because all of us drink this water,” Brindisi implored.
Brindisi says, in the meantime, he has written to the State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Environmental Protection Agency for independent tests to get answers about the quality of drinking water in the MVWA’s system. Brindisi says EWG spent several years pouring through statistics to develop an accurate database about the quality of the nation’s public water systems. The database shows the presence of four contaminants in MVWA water samples taken in 2015 that exceeded state and federal averages.
For example, levels of chloroform, a byproduct of water disinfection that increases the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy, came in at 48.5 parts per billion (ppb) in the MVWA samples—well above the state average of 11.2 ppb, and the federal average of 16.4 ppb. This greatly exceeds the recommendation of the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment of 1 ppb.
Brindisi says levels of Chloroform from test results from many upstate water systems were lower than the MWVA results and he is demanding answers as to why.
The Schenectady water System had lower than average Chloroform levels, while the Erie County Water Authority tested at 21.0 ppb; the Syracuse City Water System at 22.5 ppb; and the Monroe County Water Authority at 25.5 ppb. The Rome Water System results came in at 38.8 ppb. Other contaminants found at higher levels in MVWA water samples than state and local averages included:
Dichloroacetic acid, formed when disinfectants are used to treat drinking water;
increases the risk of cancer, and may cause problems during pregnancy
Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), a group of four cancer-causing contaminants formed
during water chlorination
Trichloroacetic acid, also caused by the disinfection of water; may increase the risk of
cancer and problems during pregnancy
Brindisi said: “What the residents of the Mohawk Valley deserve from the MVWA’s new water
treatment plant operator, and from our state and federal environmental agencies, is unfiltered
information, and crystal clear drinking water. People deserve to know as much as possible about
what is in the water they drink and issuing a transparent report to the public on these findings is
most definitely warranted.”
Brindisi says the EWG database on public water systems can be accessed through the following
The following is the text of Brindisi’s letter to the DEC and EPA:
Dear Commissioner Seggos:
I am writing to you regarding the release of a database by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a not for profit public policy group focusing on the quality of drinking water in New York State.
While I am not an expert in the field of water quality, I am concerned that test results from 2015 of water in the Mohawk Valley Water Authority (MVWA) system revealed levels of four carcinogens or potential carcinogens at higher than state or national averages—and at much higher levels than some public health agencies recommend. Particularly concerning is the level of 48.5 parts per billion for chloroform—which was well above the state average of 11.2 ppb, and the federal average of 16.4 ppb.
The MVWA has recently entered into a five-year contract with SUEZ North America to operate its water treatment plant. I believe it would be very valuable to conduct independent tests of the water its customers are using as a benchmark for this new entity, which has been tasked with operating water treatment for the authority. Also, I would encourage you to do everything possible to encourage public water systems to
regularly issue clear and concise reports that present an accurate view of the quality of their water.
I believe the public deserves answers concerning the quality of the water they use on a daily basis, and providing clarity on this issue is warranted, following the creation of this new database on water quality.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact my office.
Member of Assembly
Cc: Hon. Scott Pruitt, Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency