Arntzen Hall 5th Floor Drinking Fountain - Additional Information
Samples. On October 7, 2008, Lucky Tedrow collected a drinking fountain sample from the fifth floor of Arntzen Hall in a plastic bottle and stored it. This sample was analyzed. The accompanying "blank" sample contained water from the Environmental Health and Safety sink faucet in Environmental Studies Room 72 collected into an identical bottle obtained from Watershed Studies.
Results. The results of the drinking fountain water showed 26.3 micrograms of 2-butanone (also known as methyl ethyl ketone) per liter of water (ug/l). In addition, the sample contained 9.6 ug/l of acetone and 0.9 ug/l of chloroethane. Micrograms per liter is the equivalent of parts per billion (ppb) - one part of material in a billion parts of water.
Results of the blank water showed 32.9 ug/l of chloroform, and 3.6 ug/l of bromodichloromethane.
Federal (and State) Water Standards. There are no drinking water standards applicable to the chemicals found.
The sample showed 0.9 ug/l of chloroethane. While there is no maximum contaminant level for this chemical, there is a federal/state maximum contaminant level for dichloroethane of 0.005 mg/l or 5 ug/l . The drinking fountain levels would be below the maximum contaminant level, if they were the same. In general, chloro (one chlorine atom) is less toxic than dichloro (2 chlorine atoms) on a molecule.
Sample Caveats. The Edge Analytical cover letter mentions that the samples were collected in plastic (rather than glass as specified for organic analyses) and were stored for longer than the method specifies. Plastic containers can leach materials into the water (see link below). Both bottles smelled strongly of plastic prior to delivery to the consultant. Chlorinated compounds (those called chloro, dichloro, etc.) arise in water from the interaction of organic molecules with the residual chlorine disinfectant present.