Recent reports show that in the last three years, 15 Nova Scotiamunicipalities have improved their water service for customers byreducing or eliminating the incidence of trihalomethanes (THMs)in their water supplies. This represents an improvement of 65 per cent since 2001, when 23municipalities reported THM levels above national guidelines. “Obviously safe, clean drinking water is a top priority, not justfor this government, but also for the municipalities who areresponsible for providing this service,” said Environment andLabour Minister Kerry Morash. “I’m really pleased to see such asignificant improvement, and I know as the Drinking WaterStrategy rolls out, any other issues like this will continue tobe addressed.” A key first-year goal for the strategy is completing assessmentsof municipal water treatment facilities to verify that systemsmeet current environmental standards. Reports are due to becompleted by April 1. The province has accomplished a great deal since releasing itsDrinking Water Strategy in October 2002. It has set up a systemof regular audits of all municipal water systems. About 1,800privately owned public water supplies are registered with thedepartment. It has established a committee with the MunicipalPublic Works Association of Nova Scotia to improve informationsharing and consultation with municipal governments on issuesrelated to water. “Municipalities have put a great deal of time, effort, andresources into addressing THMs, as well as other important waterissues, and it shows. Municipal supplies in Nova Scotia aregenerally in good shape,” said Mr. Morash. “But we always need tokeep improving our systems, so we’re ready to meet changingguidelines and so we can take advantage of improvements intechnology.” THMs are chemical compounds formed when water that is disinfectedwith chlorine reacts with organic material in the water, such astwigs and leaves.