Northampton Borough Municipal Authority
1 Clear Springs Drive
P.O. Box 156
Northampton, PA 18067-0156

610-262-6711
(Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
610-262-6796 (fax)
610-262-6711
(after-hours emergencies)
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NORTHAMPTON BOROUGH MUNICIPAL AUTHORITY
2016 ANNUAL WATER QUALITY REPORT

 

The Board of Directors, Management, and Employees of the Northampton Borough Municipal Authority (NBMA) are very pleased to provide you this drinking water quality report for the calendar year 2016. The main purpose of this report is to familiarize the customers of the quality of water they consume daily and to inform you of NBMA services and the effort we put forth to ensure quality drinking water is delivered to all NBMA customers. NBMA serves the Boroughs of Northampton, North Catasauqua, Coplay, portions of Allen Townships in Northampton County and portions of Whitehall Township and North Whitehall Townships in Lehigh County.

 

WATERSHED AND TREATMENT:

 

The NBMA system has two surface water sources. The Lehigh River is the major source and supplies approximately 3,000,000 gallons daily to the NBMA system consisting of about 40,000 customers. Spring Mill Dam, our secondary source, is located immediately west of the filtration plant in Cementon, and it supplies approximately 300,000 gallons of water per day. The water from these sources is blended at the NBMA Water Filtration Plant, located at 5200 Second Street, Coplay (Cementon), PA. The filtration plant is designed and permitted to produce up to 8,000,000 gallons of drinking water per day. Treatment includes: raw water pumping; addition of chemicals for adsorption of organic contaminants and coagulation of colloidal solids; clarification and filtration to remove suspended solids and microbiological contaminants; disinfection with ultraviolet technology and chlorine; and finally adjustment of pH and alkalinity to protect the distribution system from corrosion.

As source water assessment on our sources was completed by the Pennsylvainia Department of Environemntal Protection (PADEP). The assessment found that the source water is most susceptible to contaminantion from local roads, auto repair shops and residential developments. Overall, the watershed has a moderate risk of significant contamination. A summary report is available here:  http://www.elibrary.dep.state.pa.us/dsweb/Get/Document-59635/Northampton%20Borough%20RS3480057001.pdf
Complete reports were distributed to municipalities, local planning agencies, and DEP offices. Call the PADEP Regional Office at (570) 826-2511 for full copies.

We are pleased to announce that our drinking water, as a result of our reliable treatment process, meets Federal and State requirements. No exceeded contaminant levels were experienced by NBMA in 2016.

NBMA did receive a failure to monitor violation for the 3rd quarter TOC test. The sample was taken and the test was performed on time, however the subcontracted laboratory (Suburban Testing Laboratories) did not report the result to the PA DEP in the allotted time frame.


CONTACT LIST:

If there are any questions concerning this report or NBMA in general, call the main office. Non-English copies of this report can be obtained by contacting the main office. Las copias espanolas de este informe pueden ser obtenidas entrando en contacto con la oficina principal.

Este informe contiene información importante acerca de su agua potable. Haga que alguien lo tranduzca para usted, ó hable alguien lo entienda.

Public Water System ID # - 3480057
Main Office: 1 Clear Springs Drive Northampton, PA. 18067
TEL - (610) 262-6711
FAX - (610)-262-6796

Water Treatment Plant: 5200 Second Street, Coplay, PA 18037 (610) 262-6792
Web Site: www.nbma.org      Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION:

Board Meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month at the NBMA Headquarters Building, 1 Clear Springs Drive, Northampton. Tours of the filtration plant for special interest groups and schools can be scheduled by calling the Authority office.

WATER ANALYSIS:

NBMA routinely tests for contaminants in your drinking water to meet Federal and State set regulations. To ensure that it is potable, filtration plant operators test the drinking water every two hours, twenty-four hours a day, in our Pennsylvania State certified laboratory. A detected contaminant testing matrix table including data from January 1 to December 31, 2016 (unless otherwise noted) is attached for your information. All drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least a small amount of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. For more information about contaminants and potential health effects, contact the EPA' s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

The sources of drinking water (both tap and bottled water) include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally occurring minerals and in some cases, radioactive material, and can pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or human activity. Contaminants that may be present in source water include:

 

* Microbial Contaminants such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations and wildlife.

* Inorganic Contaminants such as salts and metals which can be naturally occurring or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharge, or farming.

* Pesticides and Herbicides which come from agricultural, urban storm water runoff and agricultural uses.

* Organic Chemical Contaminants (synthetic and volatile) which are by-products of industrial processes, and can come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff, and septic systems.

* Radioactive Contaminants which can be naturally occurring.

 

To ensure that tap water is safe to drink, EPA prescribes regulations which limit the amount of certain contaminants in water provided to the public. Food and Drug Administration regulations establish limits for contaminants in bottles of water which must provide the same public health protection.

DEFINITIONS:

This table and descriptive information may present terms or symbols that are unfamiliar to you. Here are some definitions for your information.
Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL)- The highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water. MCL's are set as close to the MCLG's as feasible using the best available treatment technology.
Maximum Contaminant level Goal (MCLG)- The level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected health risk. MCLG's allow for a margin of safety.
Parts per million (ppm) or milligrams per liter (mg/l)- One ppm corresponds to one minute in two years.
Parts per billion (ppb) or micrograms per liter (ug/l)- One ppb corresponds to one minute in 2,000 years.

Picocuries per liter (pCi/L)- A measure of the radioactivity in water.

MRDL- Maximum residual disinfectant level. The highest level of a disinfectant allowed in drinking water.

MRDLG- Maximum residual disinfectant level goal. The level of a drinking water disinfectant below which there is no known or expected health risk. MRDLG’s do not reflect the benefits of the use of disinfectants to control microbial contaminants.

Treatment Technique- A required process intended to reduce the level of a contaminant in drinking water.

Action Level- The concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements which a water system must follow.

Raw Water- Water directly from the source, prior to treatment.

Finished Water- Water after treatment and disinfection and ready for distribution.

NTU- Nephelometric turbidity units.

NA- Not Applicable

NON-DETECTED CONTAMINANTS:

NBMA also tests for many other contaminants that are not listed on the contaminant testing table. They were not included on the main table because they were not detected in our water. These include twenty-one volatile organic contaminants; fifteen synthetic organic contaminants; nine inorganic contaminants; and three microbiological contaminants.

UNREGULATED CONTAMINANTS:

NBMA has also monitored the source water for Crytposporidium. This is a commonly found microbial parasite in surface water. It is capable of causing a disease called crytposporidiosis. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and nausea. Healthy individuals usually can overcome the illness in a few weeks. However, immunocompromised individuals are at greater risk of developing serious, chronic illness. Cryptosporidium must be ingested to develop disease, and there are many ways other than drinking water that this parasite can be spread. Our monitoring concludes that Cryptosporidium is present in the raw source. At present, there is absolutely no evidence indicating that our customers should be concerned with Crytposporidium.

NBMA has also tested for other unregulated contaminants that were not detected. For information regarding unregulated contaminant monitoring results, contact our main office at 610-262-6711.

HEALTH INFORMATION:

Some individuals may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. These include immunocompromised persons such as those with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to reduce the risk of infection by Crytposporidium and other microbial contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

 

EDUCATIONAL INFORMATION:

Occasionally, some slight tastes and odors can be detected in the drinking water. These are due to occasional higher levels of naturally occurring organic compounds in the raw water. Powdered activated carbon is added to minimize these tastes and odors and at no time does this affect the quality of water.

Northampton Borough Municipal Authority continually strives to improve and upgrade the filtration plant and distribution system facilities in order to meet state and federal standards.

                                               

 

                                              Detected Contaminant Table

 

Disinfection By-Products TTHM

Sample

Location

MCL in
mg/L

MCL in

CCR Units

Highest LRAA

Range of Results

Violations?

Source of
Contaminant

Site 1

0.08

8o ppb

51.8 ppb

22.0-79.6 ppb

No

By-product of drinking water chlorination.

Site 2

0.08

80 ppb

42.2 ppb

18.0-66.3 ppb

No

By-product of drinking water chlorination.

Site 3 0.08 80 ppb 41.1 ppb 22.9-56.8 ppb No By-product of drinking water chlorination.
Site 4 0.08 80 ppb 39.9 ppb 19.4-56.7 ppb No By-product of drinking water chlorination.

 

Disinfection By-Products HAA5

Sample 

Location

MCL in 

mg/L

MCL in

 CCR Units

Highest  

LRAA

Range of

Results

Violations?

Typical Source

of Contaminant

Site 1 0.06  60 ppb 33.4 ppb 21.7-41.2 ppb No  By-Product of drinking water chlorination.
Site 2  0.06  60 ppb  42.2 ppb 20.2-33.4 ppb No  By-Product of drinking water chlorination.
Site 3  0.06  60 ppb  25.0 ppb 9.8-28.7 ppb No  By-Product of drinking water chlorination.
Site 4  0.06  60 ppb  25.0 ppb 14.8-28.0 ppb No  By-Product of drinking water chlorination.

This Data is from 2015. NBMA is required to monitor for DPB's annually. Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM) and Haloacetic Acids (HAA5's) are tested quarterly (four times a year). 

* This result isis based on a locational running annual average (LRAA) for 2015.

Inorganic Contaminants (IOC)

Contaminant
Name

MCL in

mg/L

MCL in
CCR Untis
MCLG in
CCR Units
NBMA's
Result
Violations? Typical Source of Contaminant
Nitrate 10 10 ppm 10 ppm 1.33 ppm NO Runoff from fertilizer use, leaching from
septic tanks and sewage, erosion of
natural deposits.
Fluoride 1 2 2 ppm 2 ppm 0.63 ppm NO NBMA water additive that promotes strong teeth
and prevents tooth decay.
Barium 2 2 ppm 2 ppm 0.026 ppm NO Discharge of drilling wastes. Discharge from metal
refineries. Erosion of natural deposits.
Cyanide 0.2 200 ppb 200 ppb 5 ppb NO Discharge from steel/metal, plastics, and fertilizer factories.
Nickel 2       0.001 ppm NO Erosion of natural deposits.
Silver 3 0.1* 0.1 ppm   0.004 ppm NO Erosion of natural deposits.

Inorganic contaminants, Nitrate and Nitrite are tested for annually.

(1) NBMA has been adding fluoride to the drinking water to help prevent tooth decay since the 1970's. The US EPA and the US Department of Health and Human Services have recently revised fluoride standards and guidelines to recommend a single value of 0.70 mg/L (ppm) for the addition of fluoride to the water. Over the years, NBMA has been maintaining a fluoride level of 0.70 mg/L at all times. This will provide an effective levle of fluoride to reduce the risk of tooth decay while minimizing the rate of fluorosis in the general population. 

(2) Although we are required to test for Nickel, the EPA has rescinded the MCL and MCLG on the amount of nickel allowed in drinking water.

(3) NBMA is not required to monitor for silver, but it was detected, so it was included in the chart.  *This is a secondary MCL established by EPA. They are established only as guidelines to assist public water suppliers in managing their drinking water for aesthetic considerations, such as taste, color, and odor. These contaminants are not considered to present a risk to human health. 


Lead and Copper

Contaminant 

Name

Action 

Level

MCLG

90th

Percentile

Units

# of sites that

exceeded AL

Violation?

Typical Source of

Contaminants

Copper AL= 1.3 ppm AL 1.3 ppm 0.23 ppm 0 out of 30 NO

Corrosion of household plumbing systems, erosions

of natural deposits.

Lead AL = 15 0 2 ppb 0 out of 30 NO

Corrosion of household plumbing systems, erosions

of natural deposits.

 

Lead and copper was tested in 2016. We are required to monitor for lead and copper once every three years. There are thirty sample sites.
No site exceeded the action level for lead or copper.

If present, elevated lead levels can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with lead service lines and home plumbing. NBMA is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in home plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using for drinking or cooking. If you are concerend about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at http://www.epa.gov/safewater/lead.


Turbidity

 

Contaminant
Name
MCL MCLG NBMA's
Result
Sample
Date
Violation? Typical Source of
Contaminant





Turbidity






TT= 1 ntu
for a
single
measurement










TT= at least 95% of
monthly samples ≤ 0.300 ntu
0 0.116








100%
3/22/16









No

Turbidity is the measurement of
cloudiness in the water. It is used as
an indicator of filtration performance.
Depending on turbidities, operators
may need to make adjustments and
changes to ensure that the filters are
at peak performance. The main cause
of turbidity is soil runoff, especially during
times of heavy rains.


 

Total Organic Carbon

 

Contaminant
Name
MCL MCLG NBMA's
Result
Range of
Results
Violation? Typical Source
of Contaminants
TOC TT TT 1.66 ppm 1.30-2.20 ppm No Naturally present in the
environment.

 TOC is tested for quarterly.


Distribution System Disinfectant Residual

 

Contaminant
Name
MCL MCLG NBMA's
Result
Range of
Results
Violation? Typical Source of
Contaminant
Chlorine 4 ppm 4 MRDL 1.53 ppm 0.89 - 1.53 ppm No Water additive used
to control microbes

 This chlorine residual is taken throughout the distribution system forty times a month. This result is the highest monthly average.

 

Entry Point Disinfectant Residual

 

Contaminant
Name
Minimum Allowable
Residual
Lowest level
detected
Range of
detections
Units Violation? Source of
Containant
Chlorine 0.2 1.54 1.54 -2.22 ppm No Water additive used to control
microbes

This chlorine residual is taken from the entry point or finished water tap from the treatment plant.