On April 17, the Rider community was notified of a contamination found in the drinking water distribution system, which includes Rider’s Lawrenceville campus and the surrounding Trenton and Lawrenceville communities. According to Taya Brown-Humphrey, acting assistant water treatment plant superintendent, the contaminant found is an organic chemical known as trihalomethane (TTHM). The Environmental Protection Agency reports that TTHM is a byproduct of the disinfectants put in the water to kill disease-causing organisms.
The maximum amount, or standard, that is set for this chemical is 80 parts per billion (ppb). Testing results from May 2012 through February 2013 show that the drinking water contains 95 ppb. While the violation is not a cause for alarm the city of Trenton is obligated to notify the public, according to a press release from the city.
The city of Trenton routinely monitors for the presence of drinking water contaminants in the distribution system.
Those who drink water containing an excess of TTHM over a long period of time may experience problems with their livers, kidneys and central nervous systems, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.
However, Dr. Danielle Jacobs, assistant professor of chemistry, biochemistry and physics, agreed that this is not an emergency.
“The only concern would be if the amount of contaminant continues to exceed the threshold over time,” she said. “This is very recent and TTHM is a very common byproduct.”
Trenton Water Works is currently working with a consulting engineer who is presenting ways to reduce the levels of TTHM. The city plans to resolve the problem within the next two years.
Freshman George Garland, who was arrested on March 26 on campus, has been charged with burglary of the third degree and theft of moveable property, according to the complaint warrant.
Garland entered several buildings on campus between Nov. 26 and March 26 and stole property, specifically computer equipment and electronics ranging from $500 to $75,000, according to the warrant.
He posted bail, which was set at $15,000 and was released from the Mercer County Correction Center on April 5, Casey DeBlasio, a spokesperson for the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, said in an email.
DeBlasio also confirmed that his next court appearance is in the Superior Court on May 16.