Veazie Taxpayers Concerned About Water Quality

Terry Stackhouse

Updated 5 months ago

Folks in Veazie are concerned about chemicals in their water linked to cancer.

A group of nursing students from the University of Maine stopped by a meeting of the town council Tuesday.

They presented their findings about the health effects of trihalomethanes.

THMs, as they’re called, are formed when chlorine, and other disinfectants, is mixed with organic matter.

Exposure can lead to increased risk of bladder, colon, and rectal cancer.

The soon-to-be nurses say THM levels up to 80 parts per billion are acceptable.

A 2011 water sample showed Veazie’s levels at 89 parts per billion.

“I have no concerns at these levels.” says Orono-Veazie Water District Superintendent Dennis Cross. “I think we have successfully brought the average down below the 80 parts per billion which is the requirement.”

“I am willing to take a look at the costs of reducing that but I know they will be significant,” Cross adds. “There may be some value in sending a letter to our customers, sharing with them what we have done in the levels of where they have been brought down to.

One of the nursing students presenting at the meeting, Tiffany Bishop, said, “Our main goal here was promoting awareness amongst the community and just giving them an idea as to how they can reduce exposure to THMs.”

The nursing students suggest investing in a water filtration system.

For information on federal guidelines related to THMs visit water.epa.gov/drink.


  • Anon

    Here’s the thing, 80 parts per billion is “acceptable” but what is acceptable, in this case? To me, acceptable is still not good enough, acceptable is the maximum you can have without a landslide of horrible after effects. Acceptable is a cozy gray area where the public doesn’t have to worry and the public servants don’t have to do anything about it. And to “think that we have successfully brought the average down” isn’t good enough for me either. This requires more study, I want to know what the average ACTUALLY is, not what they THINK it is. Are the people of Veazie really okay with this? Our kids are drinking this water, we’re drinking this water, and cooking with it and showering in it and washing our dishes and clothes in it. Cancer risk is never acceptable, and the fact that the extra 9 parts per billion doesn’t worry the water district superintendent is pathetic. If they let that slide, what else are they letting slide in regards to our well being?

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