Annual Drinking Water Quality Report for 2018 - East Greenbush General Water District

225 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush, NY 12061
Public Water Supply Identification Number NY4100051


To comply with State regulations, East Greenbush General Water District will be annually issuing a report describing the quality of your drinking water. The purpose of this report is to raise your understanding of drinking water and awareness of the need to protect our drinking water sources. We are very pleased to provide you with this year's Annual Water Quality Report. Last year, we conducted tests for over 80 contaminants. We detected 2 of those contaminants at a level higher than the State allows in 3 of the 4 quarters of monitoring.As we told you at the time, our water temporarily exceeded a drinking water standard and we modified our treatment process to rectify this problem. This report is an overview of last year’s water quality. Included are details about where your water comes from, what it contains, and how it compares to New York State standards. Our constant goal is and always has been, to provide to you a safe and dependable supply of drinking water. We want you to understand the efforts we make to continually improve the water treatment process and to protect our water resources. If you have any questions concerning this report or concerning your drinking water please contact: Mr. Tom Kennedy, Water Foreman, Town of East Greenbush, East Greenbush General Water District, 69 Gilligan Road, East Greenbush, NY 12061; Telephone (518) 477-6103. We want our valued customers to be informed about their water service. If you want to learn more, please attend any of our regularly scheduled Town Board meetings. They are held on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, 7:00 PM at the Town Hall, 225 Columbia Turnpike, East Greenbush, NY 12061; Telephone (518) 477-4775.

Where Does Our Water Come From?

The East Greenbush General Water District purchases its water from the City of Troy.The City of Troy draws its water from a “surface water” supply, the spring fed Tomhannock Reservoir. It is located to the northeast of the City of Troy. Water flows from the Tomhannock Reservoir to the Troy Water Treatment Plant (TWTP), a complete treatment facility.In an effort to lower the formation of disinfection byproducts (DBPs), TWTP adds potassium permanganate at the Tomhannock Reservoir.Potassium permanganate is a strong oxidant that is used to oxidize iron and manganese, but does not produce the DBPs that chlorine does. Potassium permanganate is being fed seasonally from mid-June to about September or October depending on the iron and manganese levels in the raw water.Additionally chlorine dioxide is added at Melrose Station to oxidize the organic material that leads to the formation of DBPs when it reacts with chlorine but unlike chlorine, chlorine dioxide does not form DBPs.Chlorine dioxide is fed year-round.The treatment process at Troy consists of; coagulation using aluminum sulfate (alum) to cause small particles to stick together when the water is mixed, making larger heavier particles; sedimentation allows the newly formed larger particles to settle out naturally; filtration removes smaller particles by trapping them in sand filters; pH adjustment for corrosion control; and final post chlorination to maintain a chlorine residual in the distribution system to prevent bacterial contamination and fluoridation at low levels to protect teeth.The water purchased by East Greenbush is pumped through the Cross Street Pump Station.A 36 inch water main along route 4 through North Greenbush carries water to our two 5 million storage tanks at the top of Grandview Drive.This tank distributes water throughout the General Water District.The supply system is jointly owned with the City of Rensselaer.

The NYS DOH has completed a Source Water Assessment for the Tomhannock Reservoir. The assessment is summarized below. The assessment includes a susceptibility rating based on the risk posed by each potential source of contamination and how likely contaminants could enter the reservoir(s). The susceptibility rating is an estimate of the potential for contamination. It does not mean that the water delivered to your home is or will become unsafe to drink. See section “Are there contaminants in our drinking water?” of this report, for information concerning low levels of contaminants in your water.

The assessment found the amount of pasture in the assessment area results in a potential for protozoa contamination.There is also possible contamination susceptibility associated with landfills in the assessment area.It should be noted that hydrologic characteristics (e.g. basin shape and flushing rates) generally make reservoirs sensitive to existing and new sources of phosphorus and microbial contamination.

A copy of the full Source Water Assessment, including a map of the assessment area is available for review by contacting the Rensselaer County Health Department at the number provided in this report.

Facts and Figures

The East Greenbush General Water District provides water through 4,364 service connections to a population of approximately 11,200 residential and commercial customers. Our average daily demand is 3,343,000 gallons. Our single highest day was 6,025,000 gallons. The total water purchased in 2018 was 1,121,078,000 gallons. The average annual charge for water in 2018 was $3.70 per 1000 gallons.The difference (3.0%) between the volume billed and the total volume purchased is water used firefighting, flushing of the water distribution system, errors in water meters and water lost to leaks.

Are There Contaminants In Our Drinking Water?

As the State regulations require, we routinely test your drinking water for numerous contaminants. These contaminants include: inorganic compounds, nitrate, nitrite, lead and copper, volatile organic compounds, total trihalomethanes, haloacetic acids, radiological and synthetic organic compounds In addition, we test 2 samples for coliform bacteria monthly. The table presented below depicts which compounds were detected in your drinking water. The State allows us to test for some contaminants less than once per year because the concentrations of these contaminants do not change frequently.Some of our data, though representative, are more than one year old.

It should be noted that all drinking water, including bottled drinking water, may be reasonably expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that water poses a health risk.More information about contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline 800-426-4791 or the Rensselaer County Health department at (518) 270-2626.

What Does This Information Mean?

As you can see by the tables on page 4, our system had 2 violations. We exceeded the MCL for the Haloacetic Acids and the Trihalomethanes in in the 1st quarter of 2018 and are required to furnish the following information:

Haloacetic Acids Health Effects

Some studies suggest that people who drank chlorinated drinking water containing disinfection by-products (possibly including HAAs) for long periods of time (e.g., 20 to 30 years) have an increased risk for certain health effects. These include an increased risk for cancer. However, how long and how frequently people actually drank the water as well as how much HAAs the water contained is not known for certain. Therefore, the evidence from these studies is not strong enough to conclude that the observed increased risk for cancer is due to HAAs, other disinfection by-products, or some other factor. Studies of laboratory animals show that the individual HAAs, dichloroacetic acid and trichloroacetic acid, can cause cancer following exposure to high levels over their lifetimes. Dichloroacetic acid and trichloroacetic acid are also known to cause other effects in laboratory animals after high levels of exposure, primarily on the liver, kidney, and nervous system and on their ability to bear healthy offspring. The effects reported in studies of laboratory animals occur at exposures much higher than exposures that could result through normal use of the water. The risks for adverse health effects from HAAs in drinking water are small compared to the risk for illness from drinking inadequately disinfected water.

THM Health Effects

Some studies suggest that people who drink chlorinated water (which contains trihalomethanes) or water containing elevated levels of trihalomethanes for long periods of time may have an increased risk for certain health effects. For example, some studies of people who drank chlorinated drinking water for 20 to 30 years show that long term exposure to disinfection by-products (including trihalomethanes) is associated with an increased risk for certain types of cancer. A few studies of women who drank water containing trihalomethanes during pregnancy show an association between exposure to elevated levels of trihalomethanes and small increased risks for low birth weights, miscarriages and birth defects. However, in each of the studies, how long and how frequently people actually drank the water, as well as how much trihalomethanes the water contained is not known for certain. Therefore, we do not know for sure if the observed increases in risk for cancer and other health effects are due to trihalomethanes or some other factor. The individual trihalomethanes chloroform, bromodichloromethane and dibromochloromethane cause cancer in laboratory animals exposed to high levels over their lifetimes. Chloroform, bromodichloromethane and dibromochloromethane are also known to cause effects in laboratory animals after high levels of exposure, primarily on the liver, kidney, nervous system and on their ability to bear healthy offspring. Chemicals that cause adverse health effects in laboratory animals after high levels of exposure may pose a risk for adverse health effects in humans exposed to lower levels over long periods of time.

We have learned through our monitoring and testing that some contaminants have been detected; however, these compounds were detected below New York State requirements. MCL’s are set at very stringent levels. To understand the possible health effects described for many regulated contaminants, a person would have to drink 2 liters of water every day at the MCL level for a lifetime to have a one-in-a-million chance of having the described health effect.

Information on Fluoride Addition

Our system is one of the many drinking water systems in New York State that provides drinking water with a controlled, low level of fluoride for consumer dental health protection. Systems that purchase fluoridated water may want to add: Fluoride is added to your water by City of Troy Water Department before it is delivered to us.According to the United States Centers for Disease Control, fluoride is very effective in preventing cavities when present in drinking water at a properly controlled level.To ensure that the fluoride supplement in your water provides optimal dental protection, the City of Troy Water Department monitors fluoride levels on a daily basis to make sure fluoride is maintained at a target level of 1.0 mg/l.During 2017 monitoring showed that fluoride levels in your water were within 0.2 mg/l of the target level 100% of the time.None of the monitoring results showed fluoride at levels that approach the 2.2 mg/l MCL for fluoride.

Is Our Water System Meeting Other Rules That Govern Operations?

During 2017, our system was in compliance with applicable State drinking water operating, and reporting requirements. Results of regular monitoring are an indicator of whether or not your drinking water meets health standards.During 2017, we “did not monitor or test” or “did not complete all monitoring or testing” for the annual Nitrate sample and therefore cannot be sure of the quality of your drinking water during that time.We were issued a notice of violation for not completing this testing.

Do I Need to Take Special Precautions?

Although our drinking water met or exceeded state and federal regulations, some people may be more vulnerable to disease causing microorganisms or pathogens in drinking water than the general population. Immuno-compromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be particularly at risk from infections.These people should seek advice from their health care provider about their drinking water.EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by Cryptosporidium, Giardia and other microbial pathogens are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791) or at

Information on Lead

If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and home plumbing. The East Greenbush General Water District is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested. Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at

Why Save Water and How to Avoid Wasting It?

You can play a role in conserving water by becoming conscious of the amount of water your household is using, and by looking for ways to use less whenever you can.It is not hard to conserve water. Conservation tips include:

  • Automatic dishwashers use 15 gallons for every cycle, regardless of how many dishes are loaded.So get a run for your money and load it to capacity.
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth.
  • Check every faucet in your home for leaks.Just a slow drip can waste 15 to 20 gallons a day.Fix it and you can save almost 6,000 gallons per year.
  • Check your toilets for leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring in the tank, watch for a few minutes to see if the color shows up in the bowl.It is not uncommon to lose up to 100 gallons a day from one of these otherwise invisible toilet leaks.Fix it and you save more than 30,000 gallons a year.
  • Use your water meter to detect hidden leaks.Simply turn off all taps and water using appliances, then check the meter after 15 minutes.If it moved, you have a leak.

Capital Improvements

Installation of new water main in the General Water District
Additional metering to cut down on water loss


Thank you for allowing us to continue to provide your family with quality drinking water this year. We ask that all our customers help us protect our water sources, which are the heart of our community. Please call our office if you have questions.

Click to View Full Report: General Water AWQR 2018