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North Penn Water Authority response to Chromium-6:

The North Penn Water Authority fully stands behind the water we provide to our customers. Our water is safe to drink. It is not getting anybody sick and is not causing cancer.  NPWA water meets or exceeds all federal EPA and state PA DEP drinking water standards.

Chromium-6 is detected in water supplies at extremely low levels all across the nation. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) picked up on data submitted by the North Penn Water Authority to EPA, which has been publicly available for the past two years in our Water Quality Report, showing readings ranging from a low of 0.00 parts per billion (ppb) to a high of 1.2 ppb. The scientific community is still evaluating what are the human health impacts, if any, of this compound. As part of the federal Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR3) water utilities are required to test for these parameters to start establishing a national database, but the EPA and PA DEP have so far not yet determined what this data means at such low levels in terms of human health.

The state of California established a Public Health Goal (PHG) of 0.02 parts per billion (ppb) and a maximum contamination level (MCL) of 10 ppb. The MCL is the enforceable standard for water utilities in California, which is the only state in the nation to establish such standards. The levels measured in NPWA’s system are only one-tenth of that standard, and thus would be well within the acceptable regulations of the one state with the most stringent standards in the nation.

Even still, the State of California says that: a drinking water sample with a detection of Chromium-6 above 0.02 ppb does not necessarily represent a public health concern. The PHG is based on a cancer risk of no more than one case of cancer per one million people. The PHG tries to account for persons at three different stages in their lives by including protection factors to account for age and by applying higher rates of water consumption in their calculation. The PHG represents the level of Chromium-6 at which no adverse health effects would be anticipated over an entire lifetime of exposure to the most sensitive population. So, a PHG is not a boundary line between a "safe" and "dangerous" level of a chemical, and drinking water is frequently demonstrated as safe to drink even if it contains chemicals at levels exceeding their PHGs.

If you are a North Penn Water Authority customer and would like to view our Water Quality Report, you can access it on our website: http://northpennwater.org/Water-Quality-Reports. If you would like a physical copy, please email info@npwa.org with your account number, name and address or call our office at 215-855-3617.

 

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North Penn Water Authority
300 Forty Foot Road
Lansdale, PA 19446
Phone: 215.855.3617
Fax: 215.855.2756
After Hours Emergency Number:
215.855.9945
Safe Drinking Water Hotline:
800.426.4791
info@npwa.org
customerservice@npwa.org
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