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Paducah Water exceeded quality standards in 2013

BY LAUREN P. DUNCAN lduncan@paducahsun.com

Paducah Water is one of 61 water treatment plants in Kentucky being recognized for exceeding state and federal water quality standards.

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet recognized the plants, which also included the Crittenden-Livingston County Water District, for going "above and beyond" the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Glen Anderson, Paducah Water general manager, said the system's board and employees made 2013 a successful year by ensuring standards were met.

"Quite honestly we've kept the facilities up ... we're proud of what we've done," he said.

According to information from the Energy and Environment Cabinet, the plants that were recognized all took part in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Area-Wide Optimization Program, which challenges plants to reduce turbidity levels, or cloudiness in water, by removing particles.

"The purpose is to make the water the best it can be," Anderson said.

There are about 50 employees at Paducah Water, which includes 14 employees at the plant, Anderson said. It serves about 26,500 customers.

The Energy and Environment Cabinet announced Tuesday that the 61 water systems it recognized all met microbial goals at least 95 percent of the time in 2013.

The recognition comes after Paducah Water found the chemical compound of total trihalomethanes, or TTHM, had exceeded the maximum contamination level on Jan. 2, 2014. One of the plant's testing sites showed a level of 0.081 milligrams per liter, which was above the 0.080 milligrams per liter level allowed. The levels were reduced within one week, but the department sent out letters to its customers notifying them of the contamination in June.

Anderson said all TTHM levels have been under the maximum contaminant level since the January occurrence.

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