Is Your Drinking Water Safe? All You Need to Know about TTHM in Your Drinking Water

Water is life and we cannot live without it – whether we are drinking, cooking or cleaning, we need an adequate supply that is clean and free from harmful radicles. There are proper steps that are followed to ensure the water you use at home is clean and disinfected with the right products. If you are unsure of what that means, it would be vital to read through online websites like the to get the proper information.

What is TTHM?  

Total trihalomethanes are a group of disinfection byproducts that occurs when chlorine-forming composites are used to disinfect drinking water. These byproducts are four in number and together they form a combined concentration known as TTHM.

Levels of TTHM increases in the summer months due to the warm temperatures. They are also affected by seasonal changes in the source of water quality or by changing amounts of the disinfection added.

Chlorine disinfection happens when there is a water main break when water systems are under repair or even when there is a potential microbial threat. It is required that all the water systems that use chlorine check their water for TTHM on a regular basis.

Why is chlorine added to water?

Chlorine is used to disinfect drinking water and make it suitable for consumption. Water disinfection is necessary to prevent illness from waterborne bacteria and it is a federal state requirement to carry it out. Disinfection of water at source kills microorganisms that are contained at the source. A small amount of disinfectant is required in the water as it travels through the pipes in the distribution system. This helps in eliminating regrowth of microorganisms or any contamination of any kind.

What is the drinking water standard for TTHM as required by the law?

Maximum Contaminant Levels – MCLs are the drinking water standards that are set to limit any risk of chemicals in drinking water. Some MCLs limit the daily amount consumed that pose an immediate risk while others limit the average consumed over a long period of time. Those that limit the average chemicals consumed over a long period of time are those that pose a long-term threat.

The TTHM MCL should be set at a level that balances both the immediate risk of bacterial contamination if the water is not adequately disinfected and the long-term health risk. The federal laws require every company supplying water to carry out four samples every year.

Can consumers be exposed to TTHM in water without their knowledge?

Yes, this happens! People are exposed to TTHM in drinking water through ingestion– drinking, cooking or preparing ice. They are also exposed to TTHM through inhalation because it vaporizes, especially when showering and bathing, thus causing absorption through the skin.

Don’t forget, there is a health risk associated with using water containing the TTHM that is associated with cancer risks following a lifetime of drinking such kind of water.

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