From the Matawan Government website:
Our water system recently violated a drinking water standard. Although this was not an emergency, as our customer, you have a right to know what happened, what you should do, and what we are doing to correct the situation.
We routinely monitor for the presence of drinking water contaminants. Testing results for the period 10/01/2011 to 12/31/2011 show that our system exceeded the standard or maximum contaminant level (MCL) for Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM). The standard for TTHM is 80 parts per billion (ppb). It is determined by averaging all of the samples collected by our system for the last 12 months. Although we have made significant progress in lowering the TTHM level for the one Maximum Residency Sample that we are required to analyze each quarter, the Running Annual Average for TTHM is above the MCL. Because system compliance is determined by this average, it will take a number of the lower analytical results to drop below MCL of 80 ppb.
Additional distribution sampling performed in December did not indicate a systemic problem with Disinfection By Products.
What should I do?
There is nothing you need to do. You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions. If a situation arises where the water is no longer safe to drink, you will be notified within 24 hours.
If you have a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, are pregnant, or are elderly, you may be at increased risk and should seek advice from your health care provider about this drinking water.
What does this mean?
This is not an emergency. If it had been, notification would occur within 24 hours. TTHM are four volatile organic chemicals, which form when disinfectants react with natural organic matter in the water.
Some people who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous system, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.
What is being done?
With technical assistance from the NJDEP and the town’s consulting engineer, Matawan will work to solve this problem. In 2012, New Jersey American Water is changing its disinfection process; transitioning from chlorine to chloramines, which will lower the concentration of TTHM. Also in 2012, Matawan will be draining, cleaning, and painting each of its water storage tanks. Each facility will be retrofitted with mixing devices that will constantly circulate the water being held in storage, thereby reducing water age and TTHM formation. As an interim solution, and until each of these measures can be implemented, Matawan DPW personnel will continue a program of extensive distribution system flushing.
For more information, please contact the water superintendent at (732) 290-2015 or via email at email@example.com.The Environmental Protection Agency’s web page listed below is also an excellent resource on TTHM:
Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.