The Safe Drinking Water Act requires the US Environmental Protection Agency to continually evaluate whether new drinking water regulations are needed to protect public health. One possible regulation that EPA has been considering for the past few years is focused on Hexavalent Chromium (also called Chromium-6). To help determine the impact of this potential regulation, EPA required all public water systems in the US that serve more than 10,000 people (including PVWC) to test their water for Hexavalent Chromium at various times between 2013 – 2015. All of the test results submitted to EPA by water systems across the country in response to this requirement are publically available from EPA through their website.
PVWC took part in this activity by testing our water in 2013-2014. We tested water coming directly from our Little Falls Water Treatment Plant, and also tested water sampled out in our water distribution system, as required by EPA. Here is what we found:
From our Treatment Plant, results ranged from 0.047 – 0.120 parts per billion Hexavalent Chromium.
In the PVWC Distribution System, results ranged from 0.040 – 0.078 parts per billion Hexavalent Chromium.
[ in the Lodi DS, sampled in 2014-15: 0.038 – 0.098 ppb ]
[ in the N. Arlington DS, sampled in 2013-14: 0.042 – 0.066 ppb ]
All of these results were reported to our drinking water customers each year in our annual Water Quality Reports. These Reports are mailed each year to each of our service addresses and bill-paying customers, and posted on the PVWC website.
For reference, the EPA regulates Total Chromium in drinking water by setting a Maximum Contaminant Limit of 100 parts per billion, measured at our Treatment Plant. Hexavalent Chromium is included in this Total Chromium limit. EPA will be using the Hexavalent Chromium results received from public water systems across the country to evaluate the benefits of issuing a new regulation specifically targeting Hexavalent Chromium sometime in the future. The State of New Jersey, which currently uses the federal EPA limit for Total Chromium, is also reviewing the possibility of issuing a New Jersey limit for Hexavalent Chromium sometime in the future. In 2014, California became the first state to regulate Hexavalent Chromium, with a Maximum Contaminant Limit of 10 parts per billion. If New Jersey someday adopts a similar regulation, the water provided by PVWC will clearly be well within that limit.