Chemicals called trihalomethanes in Oneonta's water supply tested higher than the federally accepted level in the past year, the city announced Wednesday, Oct. 14, in a media release. 

According to the release: "From the fourth quarter of 2019 through the third quarter of 2020, the city of Oneonta water system was found to have an average concentration of total trihalomethanes that exceed the maximum contaminant level of 80 parts per billion."

The recent sample produced an average of 86.5 ppb, according to the release.

According to the National Institutes of Health's U.S. National Library of Medicine, THMs "are the result of a reaction between the chlorine used for disinfecting tap water and natural organic matter in the water. At elevated levels, THMs have been associated with negative health effects such as cancer and adverse reproductive outcomes."

Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig said the city's levels were just over the limit, a small spike that happens occasionally when the makeup of the natural materials in the water changes. He said Stan Shaffer, the city's chief operator at the water treatment facility, is an expert in his field and will be able to adjust to the changes in order to bring the city's levels back under 80 ppb. 

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