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Neighbors in Hahira cope with concerning water quality; leaders address issues

Hahira's water supply has seen higher levels of haloacetic acid five (HAA5) since October
Posted at 5:43 PM, Jan 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-11 17:43:05-05
  • The levels of the haloacetic acids in Hahira Well No. 3 are between 10-15% above contamination level.
  • The city has an Environmental Protection Division approved plan to correct the issue.
  • Watch the video to hear how neighbors are dealing with the effects of the water.


Our neighbors in Lowndes County are wondering if their water is safe.

"My concern has been are there going to be health problems?"

I'm Malia Thomas, in Valdosta.

While working on another story, one of our neighbors approached me about possible contamination in our area's water.

Now, I'm checking back in.

Beth Owen Bayman is a single mother of four living in our neighboring community of Hahira.

She initially didn't think much of her higher water bill due to the move, but red flags emerged when she began seeing particles in her tap.

"I started noticing some other things like the strange white film, the buildup, the sediment in the water."

She says she asked American Water Systems of South Georgia about it.

They showed her a method of seeing how clear her water is.

"They were testing the water in the area and they said do you want to see if there's any sediment in your water and they showed me how to melt down ice cubes and the sediment that was left over afterwards."

Here's the difference Beth showed me between her bottled water and the melted down cubes.

Upon seeing this, I contacted Hahira City Manager Jonathan Sumner.

During our phone call, he told me that the city is aware of issues with Well No. 3, which has haloacetic acids just above the state's Environmental Protection Division contamination levels at the 10-15% range.

Haloacetic acids five (HAA5) refer to the five haloacetic acids most commonly found in drinking water.

Prolonged exposure to the compound at high levels can be toxic.

Sumner also told me the city has been putting out periodic notices since October about the issue, and it is safe to drink, but neighbors with compromised immune systems should consult their doctors.

There's also a plan to get the water supply to a safe level.

In the meantime, Beth tells me she hopes the city can fix her neighborhood's water soon.

"We all want a long prosperous life but if you are constantly going to the doctor because you have all these side effects if you have diabetes arthritis cancer and neurological issues then the quality of life goes down."

If you're noticing issues with your water or water bill, you can check out:

City of Hahira: (229) 794-2330

Environmental Protection Division: (404) 463-1511

Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau: (603) 271-2513 or

In Valdosta, I'm Malia Thomas, ABC27.