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Cuyahoga Falls officials say drinking water 'safely within EPA guidelines'

From A staff Report Published: September 25, 2016 12:00 AM

Cuyahoga Falls city officials on Sept. 21 said the city's drinking water is "safely within EPA guidelines" in response to a story that reported on the findings of an environmental health research and advocacy organization. The findings in the Environmental Working Group's report analyzing drinking water tests were listed in a story that appeared in the Plain Dealer on Sept. 21. Among the findings was that EPA testing of Cuyahoga Falls' Water Treatment Plant detected 1.4 parts per billion of Chromium-6.

The EWG report noted "in 2010, scientists at the respected and influential California Office of Health Hazard Assessment concluded that ingestion of tiny amounts of Chromium-6 can cause cancer in people, a conclusion affirmed by state scientists in New Jersey and North Carolina."

The EWG report also emphasized that California is the only state that adopted a legal limit on how much Chromium-6 can be in drinking water.

"The California scientists set a so-called public health goal of 0.02 parts per billion in tap water, the level that would pose negligible risk over a lifetime of consumption. (A part per billion is about a drop of water in an Olympic-size swimming pool.)," the EWG report stated. "But in 2014, after aggressive lobbying by industry and water utilities, the state regulators adopted a legal limit 500 times the public health goal. It is the only enforceable drinking water standard at either the state or federal level."

The legal limit adopted was 10 parts per billion, according to the report.

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Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters said city officials issued more information on Sept. 21 because "there were questions" about the 1.4 parts per billion of Chromium-6 detected in the city's water treatment plant in 2015.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency on various occasions asks for random specimens of water from the Cuyahoga Falls Water Department, according to a city news release. The U.S. EPA asked for random samplings from the city of Cuyahoga Falls on Dec. 8, 2014, and then again on June 11, 2015.

In the test conducted on Dec. 8, 2014, the U.S. EPA found that no Chromium-6 was detected at either the Water Treatment Plant or the Water Distribution System. In the test conducted on June 11, 2015, 1.4 parts per billion of Chromium-6 was detected at the Water Treatment Plant and no Chromium-6 was detected in the Water Distribution System, according to city officials. Walters told the Falls News-Press that meant that "zero parts per billion [of Chromium-6] was delivered to our customers."

"Cuyahoga Falls drinking water within the Water Distribution System was found to have no Chromium-6 detected in the drinking water during both tests," the city's news release stated. "The drinking water in Cuyahoga Falls remains safely within EPA guidelines. Cuyahoga Falls was one of two communities in Summit County where Chromium-6 was undetected in the Distribution System."

Walters added the city typically tests its water quality multiple times throughout the day.

"The City of Cuyahoga Falls runs water quality samplings at the Water Treatment Plant every other hour of every day to ensure that our water is safe," stated Walters. "Random water quality tests that have been performed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency have confirmed that our water meets or surpasses water quality criteria and that our water and residents remain safe."

For questions or additional information, contact the Water Department at 330-971-8130 or to access and view the City of Cuyahoga Falls Water Quality Reports, visit http://www.cityofcf.com/departments/water.

Email: fallsnewspress@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9421


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