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Desert Sun’s recent article about some California wells containing huge amounts of Chromium-6. In some cases, wells contained 1,000 times the amount deemed safe by the State.
Hexavalent chromium is a potentially carcinogenic (cancer causing) metal that Erin Brockovich brought to the media’s attention some time ago. Because scientific studies on the contaminant are still ongoing, official maximum allowable standards have not been set, but California’s public health officials have determined a “goal” of 0.02 parts per billion that public water utilities and private wells should try to stay under. To implement and maintain a chromium-6 removal system is speculated to cost just one California water district more than $275 million and would raise water rates by approximately 74 percent.
Many Californians complain that there is absolutely no room for cancer-causing agents in their drinking water. Others argue that if chromium-6 were a real problem, they would have felt the effects of it by now, since generations of people have been consuming this same water. Regardless of which way the public opinions swings, governmental regulation is a long ways off, with the EPA often taking four or more years to set limits.
The solution is surprisingly easy – and affordable. While a faucet-mounted or pitcher-style water filter will not remove the contaminant, a reverse osmosis system generally can. Be sure to ask your water treatment professional for a list of contaminants their water filter can remove.