We continually find articles these days that report about well water test samples containing unwanted heavy metal contaminants such as Chromium-6… and yet many private well owners still won’t get their own water tested on a regular basis.
Today’s Chromium-6 well water finding comes to us from the Coachella Valley region of California known and the detected levels of Chromium-6 in the water greatly exceed California’s public health goal.
Hexavalent chromium, a potentially cancer-causing heavy metal made famous by activist Erin Brockovich, is found in drinking water supplies throughout most of the Coachella Valley at 150 to more than 1,000 times above California’s public health goal, a Desert Sun review of local water agencies’ well-testing results found.
The National Toxicology Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services concluded in 2008 that hexavalent chromium, or chromium-6, in drinking water shows “clear evidence” of causing cancer in laboratory animals. And a 2010 draft toxicological review by the EPA found the contaminant in tap water is “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”
But scientific study on chromium-6 is ongoing, and some recent findings call into question at what levels and under what circumstances ingesting the metal may cause cancer.
California’s public health goal for chromium-6 levels is not a regulatory standard, only a step in the process of establishing one. State and federal regulators have yet to set a maximum allowable drinking water contaminant level for the metal, but work toward one is under way. ( source )
Regardless of whether or not California or the USEPA has established an official safety limit (i.e. Maximum Contaminant Level) for Chromium-6 in drinking water, none of us here at Water Testing Blog would want to drink water that contained that high a concentration of Chromium-6.
Testing for Chromium-6 in water?
You may pick up an easy-to-use test kit for chromium made by SenSafe/WaterWorks in our online water testing store.
As an alternative, yo can use a test called Heavy Metals Water Check Test Strip, a product also manufactured by SenSafe. It detects Chromium-6 but the product will not differentiate between Chromium-6 and the other metals it can detect. But, in all honesty, any heavy metals detected in one’s drinking water should make a person want to take action.
Removing or reducing Chromium-6?
A company called ZeroWater manufactures point-of-use water filters & water pitchers using NSF Certified (NSF 42 & NSF 53) technology that supposedly reduce the number of Total Dissolved Solids in drinking water to zero.
For those who in search of a water filter system capable of producing quality drinking water out of the tap rather than a pitcher or dispenser, the NSF 58 Certified Goldline Reverse Osmosis System which carries the WQA Gold Seal installs under the sink (i.e. out of sight) and produces just under 11.5 gallons of purified drinking water per day.
NSF 58 Certified RO System for the Reduction of Barium, Chromium III & VI, Fluoride,
Lead, Nitrate, Nitrite, Radium, Selenium, and TDS Levels