Chromium 6 Contamination Bedevils Calif. City

California in 2014 enacted the nation’s first drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium, or chromium 6.
Now with Vacaville, in Solano County 55 miles northeast of San Francisco, plotting the final pieces of a multimillion-dollar chromium 6 removal plan, environmentalists are demanding that the city stop telling its 92,000 residents that their water is safe.
“The city’s transport of chromium 6 in this case creates an imminent and substantial endangerment to human health or the environment,” the complaint states.
River Watch’s attorney Jack Silver in Sebastopol did not respond to an interview request Tuesday.
Prolonged exposure to chromium 6 increases the risk of lung cancer and asthma, particularly when it’s inhaled.
Recent tests revealed that five of Vacaville’s 11 groundwater wells exceed the new state standard, two of which have been in operation since the 1970s.
The city says there are no known cases of chromium 6-related cancers due to Vacaville’s groundwater and that the carcinogen occurs naturally in its water supply.
To comply with the 2020 deadline Vacaville plans to install chromium 6 filters valued at more than $1 million per well to some of its wells.
“The city is taking steps to provide water with hexavalent chromium at or below the maximum contaminant level.
The data do not account for water supplies contaminated with chromium 6, such as Vacaville’s five wells.

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