Lake Erie an "outstanding" drinking water source, but toxins remain, report finds

CLEVELAND, Ohio – A national, non-profit health research and advocacy organization released a report this week that found widespread contamination of drinking water in Cleveland and throughout Ohio.
The Environmental Working Group determined that, in 2015, virtually every large water system in Ohio produced tap water with detectable levels of the same seven or eight contaminants that exceeded health guidelines, but not federal standards.
EWG obtained its health guidelines from the latest state and federal scientific research, as well as from health and environmental agencies and EWG’s own research, said David Andrews, a senior scientist at EWG.
Nearly all of the contaminants listed by EWG are byproducts of chlorine and other disinfectants used in the treatment process that water systems typically use to purify their raw water from natural sources.
All of the contaminants are legal, as there have been no additions to the nation’s list of regulated chemicals since 1996, the EWG said.
Chromium remains a problem in much of the nation’s drinking water, including Ohio, according to the latest EWG report.
All Ohio public water systems are in compliance for chromium federal standards, Lee said.
He noted that all of the Cleveland Water department’s 1.3 million customers receive drinking water that meets or exceeds all state and federal standards established by the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Ohio EPA.
"EWG recommends that you drink filtered tap water," Andrews said.
EWG’s drinking water quality database includes nearly 30 million test results for 502 contaminants.

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