Hexavalent Chromium-6

Water Testing Vials

Western delivers its customers the highest quality water available. When Western customers turn on their tap, they can count on their water being purified, tested and monitored daily to protect their health and safety. Not only is Western’s water safe to drink, but your water supplies meet and exceed all state and federal drinking water standards, including those set for chromium-6.

What is Chromium-6?

According to the State Water Resources Control Board, Chromium is a heavy metal that occurs throughout the environment. The Trivalent form is a required nutrient and has very low toxicity. The hexavalent form, also commonly known as Chromium-6, is more toxic and has been known to cause cancer when inhaled.

Water Testing Lab

Is Hexavalent Chromium-6 in the water supply?

Chromium 6 is widely detected in groundwater supplies throughout the United States; this is because chromium-6 can be naturally occurring in groundwater and in some instances, it may be illegally discharged as industrial waste.

There are areas of contamination in California from historic industrial use, such as the manufacturing of textile dyes, wood preservation, leather tanning, and anti-corrosion coatings, where Hexavalent Chromium contaminated waste has migrated into the underlying groundwater.

Water Testing Lab 2

Does Western’s water supplies contain Chromium-6 and is this water safe to drink?

Western’s water is safe to drink and meets all state and federal water quality standards. The water you receive from Western is a blend of two sources—imported water and local water supply.

There has been no detection of Chromium 6 in our Murrieta groundwater supply or in our imported water supply purchased from Metropolitan Water District. Western’s groundwater supply purchased from the San Bernardino Basin Area is regularly tested and ranges from 2.0 to 2.4 parts per billion for Chromium 6. Even without a regulatory standard, the blended water is only on average, 1.1 parts per billion as reported in our 2018 Water Quality Report. To give you context, 1 part per billion is a single drop of water in an Olympic size swimming pool.

What levels of Chromium are considered safe?

There is no state or federal regulations for Chromium 6. While the California Department of Public Health established a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 10 parts per billion for Chromium 6 in April 2014, subsequent litigation invalidated this regulatory standard because the standard did not comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act for adopting an MCL.

Again, Western’s water supplies meet and exceed all state and federal drinking water standards, including those set for chromium-6.

Western’s Water Quality

To learn more about Western’s water quality, visit http://www.wmwd.com/259/Water-Quality.