Cancer-causing chemical found in drinking water - WSMV Channel 4

Cancer-causing chemical found in drinking water

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FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) -

Many folks in Franklin were surprised by a letter from the water department warning them something in the water could cause cancer.

Franklin Water Management Department sent out this notice to everyone in the city of Franklin last week. It warns people that the city violated safe levels of an haloacetic acid in the drinking water. The worst-case scenario could mean cancer.

Lauren Tenney just bought this Franklin home. She is already using city water to wash dishes and clean. But she is now concerned by their latest warning.

"Knowing that there are harmful things in the water that our kids can get in to, it's just very disconcerting," said Tenney.

Franklin Water Management Department sent this letter letting homeowners know they violated the maximum containment level for haloacitic acids.

"In the third quarter of 2010 we had higher numbers and that was actually a period when our water treatment was offline," said city administrator Eric Stuckey.

It's the second consecutive monitoring period they've been in violation.

What exactly does this mean? According to the letter, elevated levels of the acid can lead to cancer.

Residents were not notified about last year's issues until this year because the readings are based on a yearly average.

"We pay taxes for a reason and they should always let us know when something like this is going on as soon as they find out," said Tenney.

Franklin city officials said in this case it means one out of every 10,000 people can get cancer if they drink two liters of water every day for 70 years.

"It's a relatively low variance but it is a variance and we take responsibility for it. We have taken measures to help address it," said Stuckey.

But Tenney is concerned about any elevated levels of chemicals in her drinking water.

"If they fixed it after a year of it happening no it doesn't make me feel better. It makes me feel worse actually," said Tenney.

Franklin Water Management Department officials did follow TDEC regulations by sending out the letters when they did. But residents like Tenney said they should have sent warning sooner for the safety of Franklin citizens.

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