Officials: Water treatment test kits in Hillsborough have nothing to do with quality of water

Investigators

The town of Hillsborough is advising residents that water treatment test kits bring being sent to homeowners there have nothing to do with the quality of the towns water and are not being sent out by any government agency.

The kits come in the mail and contain a vial for a water sample and a form advising that “for the next two weeks water testing will be conducted for residents”. 

You are advised to fill out the enclosed form with information including, using your name and address.

The kits are actually put out by a company that sells water filtration systems.

“We presume they want to sell a whole house treatment system,” said utilities director Marie Strandwitz.

But she says, “the town of Hillsborough‘s water does not need any additional treatment.”

The water the municipality provides is treated, disinfected and tested on a regular basis in an in-house lab.

Michael Caudill does routine testing for fluoride levels, PH and disinfection quality multiple times a day.

“The state recommends every 4 hours— we do it every two so that there is anything we can catch before anything was to happen,” says Caudill.

Additional state and federally mandated tests are inducted weekly and monthly.

All that insures the water coming out of the taps is in Hillsborough is pure and clean.

Yet, some people may opt to go with a home filtration system.

“Putting in a whole house system is a preference,” said Strandwitz.

But, if you add a filtration system to your home — you negate the treatment provided by the municipality.

“It’s a form of secondary treatment and we are then just responsible to the meter, said water plant superintendent Howard Hobson.

That means if you have an issue with the water in your home the town can’t help you.

“We can’t test anything after the meter,” said HobsOn.

In effect, those home filtration systems change the quality of the water in coming from the municipal system into your home.

Home filter systems also take the chlorine disinfectant out of the water leaving free ammonia in the water making it smell funny.

“It affects the taste, smell – a whole lot of things with it,” said Hobson.

Before you rely on a commercial company to tell you if there’s a problem with your municipal water have it tested independently.

If you do want to get your municipal water tested— the state has a list of independent labs that will analyze your water for a fee and won’t sell you anything.

Like other municipalities, The town of Hillsborough must provide the public with an annual water quality report which is available here.

In addition, the town’s website has additional information about its water treatment plant and contact numbers for officials. 

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