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Matthews, North Carolina Water Quality Report

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Sources Of Drinking Water in Matthews, North Carolina

Where does Matthews' water come from?  The city of Matthews' drinking water comes from Mountain Island Lake and Lake Norman, which are both part of the Catawba-Wateree River Basin, which provides water for more than 1.5 million people in our region.  Before it gets to these lakes, the water comes from various lakes, rivers, and streams in our area, including Lake Norman or Mountain Island Lake, which are fed by the Catawba River within the Catawba-Wateree River Basin. In 2006 nearly 420 million gallons were withdrawn from the Catawba-Wateree River Basin by Charlotte Water to support our community’s water and energy needs.

The Catawba-Wateree River Basin includes the Catawba-Wateree River which flows approximately 320 miles from its headwaters in the North Carolina mountains until it merges with the Congaree River just upstream of Lake Marion. The basin includes approximately 5,000 miles of waterways and it includes portions of 24 counties in two states (North Carolina and South Carolina). The basin includes eleven lakes which were constructed by Duke Energy in the twentieth century to produce electricity. It also includes one National Wilderness Area (Linville Gorge), a National Park (Congaree National Park), the Catawba Indian Reservation, and many state and local parks.

The Region’s drinking water and wastewater systems are managed by a variety of Public Utilities across the basin. For example, Charlotte’s water is managed by Charlotte Water, the local public utility. Is Matthews' water safe to drink?

Source: City of Matthews, NC via Charlotte Water

Contaminants Found in Matthews' Water Supply

(Detected above health guidelines)

Bromodichloromethane

Bromodichloromethane, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Bromodichloromethane and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Chloroform

Chloroform, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Chloroform and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Chromium (Hexavalent)

Chromium (hexavalent) is a carcinogen that commonly contaminates American drinking water. Chromium (hexavalent) in drinking water may be due to industrial pollution or natural occurrences in mineral deposits and groundwater.

Dibromochloromethane

Dibromochloromethane, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water.

Dichloroacetic acid

Dichloroacetic acid, one of the group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards, is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Haloacetic acids and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy.

Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Trihalomethanes are cancer-causing contaminants that form during water treatment with chlorine and other disinfectants. The total trihalomethanes group includes four chemicals: chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane and bromoform.

Trichloroacetic Acid

Trichloroacetic acid, one of the group of five haloacetic acids regulated by federal standards, is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Haloacetic acids and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy. 

Fluoride

Fluoride occurs naturally in surface and groundwater and is also added to drinking water by many water systems. The fluoride that is added to water is not the naturally occurring kind, the main chemicals used to fluoridate drinking water are known as “silicofluorides” (i.e., hydrofluorosilicic acid and sodium fluorosilicate). Silicofluorides are not pharmaceutical-grade fluoride products; they are unprocessed industrial by-products of the phosphate fertilizer industry (Gross!). Since these silicofluorides undergo no purification procedures, they can contain elevated levels of arsenic — moreso than any other water treatment chemical. In addition, recent research suggests that the addition of silicofluorides to water is a risk factor for elevated lead exposure, particularly among residents who live in homes with old pipes.

Potential Health Effects of Consuming These Contaminants

Health risks of Bromodichloromethane in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.4 ppb for bromodichloromethane was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Health risks of Chloroform in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 1 ppb for chloroform was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Health risks of Dibromochloromethane in excess of health guideline 

Cancer & Pregnancy: Dibromochloromethane, one of the total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), is formed when chlorine or other disinfectants are used to treat drinking water. Dibromochloromethane and other disinfection byproducts increase the risk of cancer and may cause problems during pregnancy


Health risks of Chromium (Hexavalent) in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.02 ppb for chromium (hexavalent) was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a public health goal, the level of a drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Health risks of Dichloroacetic acid in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.7 ppb for dichloroacetic acid was defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Health risks of Trihalomethanes in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.8 ppb for trihalomethanes was defined by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a draft public health goal, the level of drinking water contaminant that does not pose a significant health risk. This health guideline protects against cancer.

Health risks of Trichloroacetic acid in excess of health guideline

Cancer: The health guideline of 0.5 ppb for trichloroacetic acid was defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as a one-in-a-million lifetime risk of cancer. Values greater than one-in-a-million cancer risk level can result in increased cancer cases above one in a million people.

Contaminant Levels in Matthews, NC Compared to Other Regions

Bromodichloromethane

- Health Guideline: 0.06 ppb

 - State: 5.83 ppb

 - Matthews, NC: 17.6 ppb

 - National: 4.38 ppb

Chloroform

 - Health Guideline: 1.0 ppb

 - State: 18.3 ppb

 - National: 11.4 ppb

 - Matthews, NC: 6.83 ppb

Chromium (hexavalent)

 - Health Guideline: 0.02 ppb

 - Matthews, NC: 0.0668 ppb

 - State: 0.0757 ppb

 - National: 0.782 ppb

Dibromochloromethane 

  - Legal Limit: 4 ppb

 - State: 3.26 ppb

 - National: 0.440 ppb 

 - Matthews, NC: 17.1 ppb

Dichloroacetic acid

 - Health Guideline: 0.7 ppb

 - State: 8.05 ppb

 - National: 6.00 ppb

 - Matthews, NC: 2.83 ppb

Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

 - Health Guideline: 0.8 ppb

 - State: 28.4 ppb

 - National: 23.4 ppb

 - Matthews, NC: 64.3 ppb

Trichloroacetic acid

 - Health Guideline: 0.5 ppb

 - State: 7.03 ppb

 - National: 4.93 ppb

 - Matthews, NC: 0.504 ppb

Fluoride

 - Legal Limit: 4 ppb

 - State: 0.305 ppb

 - National: 0.440 ppb 

 - Matthews, NC: 0.603 ppb

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April Jones

A Colorado based hiker, blogger, and water quality expert...

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