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Lawton's Water Free of Contaminants

LAWTON, Ok la._

Lawton residents, feel free to turn on your faucets, fill up your cups and drink the water here with confidence.

A national report from the environment working group identified more than 200 hundred US cities as having toxic drinking water, contaminated with a combination of chemicals called total trihalomethanes, or TTHM.

These toxins can cause bladder cancer, birth defects and miscarriages.

The next time you turn on your sink to get a drink of water...think about the processes that it went through to get into your cup.

"Both at Medicine Park and at the Southeast plant, we do a very good job of removing the contaminants that are precursors to formation," said water and waste water director, Afsaneh Jabbar.

There are five processes of cleansing and filtration to make sure that TTHM does not get into your drinking water.

It has the potential to be deadly.

"It could have an affect on fetus. And also, it can cause cancer at a different level depending on what the concentration is and how long you've been drinking that source of water," Jabbar.

There are two contaminants that can create trihalomethanes.

The first is called TOC...and the second, a much more familiar chemical, chlorine.

The water in Lawton is tested for high amounts of TTHM 80,000 times a year.

"We drop our pH which helps us remove the TOC's that are in the water and that helps us a great deal so we don't form TTHM.

There are over 200 municipalities that do not have the water quality Lawton does.

So what are they doing wrong?

Jabbar says, it is possible plant employees are adding too much chlorine.

In high doses it will overpower other healthy chemicals and turn clean water into cancer causing water. 

In 2004, the water treatment plant got an upgrade.

Since then, the water quality has been exceptional.

To put it into perspective, EPA standards say drinking water must have less than 80 micro grams of TTHM per liter...Lawton has only 20 micro grams per liter.

"We always meet and exceed all of the criteria, which means that our water is much better than what we are supposed to provide," said Jabbar.

In fact, Jabbar has worked at three water treatment plants in her career and she says the quality of the others has been no comparison!

Each year, the water treatment plant sends out water reports so residents know exactly where their city's water quality stands.

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