Sep 21 2016
04:03 pm

I don't think I'd panic just yet but this does deserve to be looked into.

3 water systems tested positive for chromium-6. 19 out of 23 samples tested positive for chromium-6.

County-wide Statistics

Average: 0.0672 ppb

Range: ND - 0.141 ppb

California Public Health Goal: 0.02 ppb

Systems Containing Chromium-6

Harriman Utility Board

Cumberland Utility District

Roane Central Utility District


Ideal goals vs practical guidelines and standards

I agree we need to keep an eye on heavy metals and other contaminants of concern in our waterways. It also would be nice to pinpoint sources (naturally occurring, agricultural, industrial, accidental or incidental) and gauge the need for remediation.

With respect to this report, the California public health goal is an ideal. This article explains the conundrum in establishing guidelines and standards as well as EPA plans to address it. Our State water quality standards reflect EPA guidelines—a work in progress.

From the article:

“California's public health goal of 0.02 parts per billion effectively means that if a million people drank water with that level of chromium-6 every day for 70 years, one additional case of cancer would occur…”

“California's own state limit for chromium-6 is significantly higher than the public health target of 0.02 parts per billion. In 2014, legislators in that state adopted a “maximum contaminant level” of 10 parts per billion…”



Here’s a timely summary of current guidance on hexavalent chromium with links to other information resources. It’s a good place to start.



Puzzling that Roane Central reports chromium, but Rockwood WSG does not. Roane Central buys water from Rockwood and has no other source. The MCL for chromium 6 is 0.1 mg/L.

I wondered that myself.

I wondered that myself.

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