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Middlebourne to flush municipal waterlines

By Staff | Aug 11, 2010

The flushing of the waterlines in Middlebourne was the main topic discussed at the council meeting held Monday at the City Building.

Lewis Blake from West Virginia Rural Water along with Richard Barnett and Clement Seese from Earthtec Environmental attended the meeting and stressed the importance of the flushing and disinfecting the public waterlines.

Blake broke down the plan and stated that not doing this can cause the formation of Trihalomethanes (THMs) which contain chlorine, and if bromide ions are present, the THMs will become brominated as well. Higher concentrations of bromide cause the creation of higher percentage of THMs to be brominated, which are heavier molecules than non brominated THMs. Increased bromides can thereby cause higher total THMs by weight which is how THMs are regulated by the USEPA.

Bromide concentrations in surface waters tend to be higher during low flow conditions, when other ions are also more concentrated. Also, bromide is highly concentrated in oilfield brines, which may become a source of increased bromides any time of the year. Higher brominated THM percentages at Middlebourne occurred in March 2006, August 2008, and November 2009.

Middlebourne’s source of water supply is Middle Island Creek. Brines from drilling of Marcellus wells in the stream’s watershed may be the source of increased bromides. A serious brine spill is known to have occurred in the headwaters of Middle Island Creek in the summer of 2009, above the Town of West Union, which is also had a spike in brominated THMs at that time.

Blake said that the flushing will remove the sediment around in the water and around the values. He also said that a lot of water systems have improved from the flushing.

Mayor Gayla Fisher stated that everyone is on board with the flushing and has agreed to get the flushing done right away. They will inform the customers of the date and times of the flushing in the near future.

In other business, Gary Rymer, the town’s attorney, informed the council members that a $10,000 grant from an anonymous donor was received by the Middlebourne Public Library along with two other grants in the amount of $3,000 and $3,500 for the addition to the library that is badly needed. He also reminded the council that the library will be holding a baked goods sale on Aug. 21 at the Farmers Market to help raise additional funds.

The next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Sept. 13 at the Middlebourne City Building.