Total THM

TTHMs (Total Trihalomethane) occur when naturally-occurring organic and inorganic materials in the water react with the disinfectants, chlorine and chloramine. Safe Home offers a few kits that provide drinking water testing for TTHMs in water supplies.

Parameter Type: Drinking Water Testing for TTHM'sVolatiles

Parameter Name: Total THM

What it is and Where it Comes From:

Trihalomethanes are a group of chemicals that can form when organic matter in water is treated with halogen disinfectants such as chlorine. The most common of these chemicals is trichloromethane (also called chloroform), but others, such as dibromochloromethane, bromodichloromethane, or bromoform can also be found. The sum of these four chemicals is referred to as total trihalomethanes (TTHMs). TTHMs are present at low levels in most chlorinated water supplies. Chlorine is added to these drinking water supplies to control microbes such as E. coli or Salmonella that can cause serious illness. Drinking water testing gives you several benefits like peace of mind, identifying contaminants in your water, and insight into health concerns. Safe Home offers Laboratory drinking water testing kits for TTHMs, allowing you to collect your water sample and ship it directly to our EPA-Certified Laboratory. This platform of drinking water testing for TTHMs will give you an accurate level based on the lowest level of a parameter our instruments can detect (Method Detection Level). Safe Home drinking water testing for TTHMs can be used for city and well water supplies. Drinking water testing should be done any time you notice a significant change in your water quality.

Health Effects:

Depending on risk factors stated below, health effects from drinking high levels of TTHMs can include liver, kidney, or central nervous system damage. Drinking water every day with concentrations of TTHMs at or below the standard for your entire lifetime is unlikely to cause illness. In addition, any risk from disinfection byproducts is much lower than the risk of illness from drinking water that has not been disinfected.

Solutions to Contaminant Levels:

What are the next steps after drinking water testing? A filter with granular activated carbon (GAC) is a proven option to remove certain chemicals, particularly organic chemicals, from water. GAC filters also can be used to remove chemicals that give objectionable odors or tastes to water such as hydrogen sulfide (rotten eggs odor) or chlorine. Reverse osmosis is a process that removes foreign contaminants, solid substances, large molecules, and minerals from water by using pressure to push it through specialized membranes. Here’s how reverse osmosis works. Unlike osmosis, which is a passive process, reverse osmosis requires external force (pressure) to work. Pressure is applied to a highly concentrated solute solution, such as salt water, to pass through a membrane to a lower concentrate solution. The membrane allows water to flow through but blocks out larger molecules, like contaminants. The reverse osmosis process leaves higher concentrations of solute on one side and only the solvent, or freshwater, on the other. Who do I need to contact to find out more information about water quality in my area? Every community water supplier must provide an annual report to its customers, known as a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). The report provides information on your local drinking water quality, including the water’s source, contaminants found in the water, and how consumers can get involved in protecting drinking water. How often does the local public water system preform drinking water testing? Frequency of drinking water testing depends on the number of people served, the type of water source, and types of contaminants. Certain contaminants are tested more frequently than others, as established by the Safe Drinking Water Act. You can find out about levels of regulated contaminants in your treated water for the previous calendar year in your annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).

MCL’s: 0.080 ppm
MCLG’s: None

File Under:

Drinking Water Testing - Parameter Types


Important Terms

  • MCL’s (Maximum Contaminant Levels) MCL’s are levels that set by the USEPA and are enforceable to Public Water Utilities, requiring additional treatment, when the levels are exceeded. These same guidelines should be at least considered, by owners of private wells. Some states have more strict guidelines than the USEPA. Not all parameters have MCL’s. If the parameter has an MCL, it’s listed.
  • MCLG’s (Maximum Contaminant Level Goals) MCLG’s are goals set by the USEPA that we should all strive for when consuming drinking water from any water supply. Concentrations of certain parameters (even below the MCL’s), are still not healthy for humans and animals to drink. These same guidelines should at least be be considered, by owners of private wells. Some states have more strict guidelines than the USEPA. Not all parameters have MCLG’s. If the parameter has an MCLG, it’s listed.
  • ACTION LEVELS ACTION LEVELS are a specified concentration of a respective parameter in drinking water, that is above a “treatment level” set by the USEPA. When these levels are exceeded, further treatment and monitoring is required by the respective utility who’s water violated this limit.Action Levels apply to parameter-rules such as but not limited to the Copper/Lead Rule.
  • PARTS PER MILLION (ppm) PPM is a scientific measurement which represents milligrams of the parameter being tested per liter of the respective liquid. Example: If Copper in your water supply is at a concentration of 1.00 mg/L, this is the same as saying the concentration is 1.00 ppm.
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