SALEM, W.Va. (WBOY) – The Salem Water Board (SWB) sent a notice to its customers on Jan. 5 stating that its water has been contaminated.

The notice reported that the water has exceeded the maximum contaminant level (mcl) for total trihalomethanes, which are chemical compounds that can be formed when water is disinfected with chlorine. This occurs when chlorine reacts with organic matter within the water. This notice stated “the average level of total trihalomethanes over the last four quarters was 101.18 µg/l (micrograms per liter) at INAC-70 Liberty Street location. The standard for total trihalomethanes is 80.0 µg/l.”

These four quarters of monitoring were completed between November 30, 2021, and August 22, 2022.

It was added that drinking this water over many years could increase the risk of getting cancer. However, a Clarksburg Water Board official said that it is not likely and this is why customers do not need to use an alternative water supply. If you do have specific health concerns, SWB recommends consulting with a doctor.

Due to the maximum contaminant levels being exceeded, the board will be lowering tank levels and flushing hydrants to bring fresher water into the distribution center.

This is a developing story that will be updated once more information is received.