Hexavalent Chromium Test Results

The elevated levels of hexavalent chromium in the air of an industrial neighborhood have raised questions about the quality of the water provided to residents by the City.

The water supply for Paramount comes primarily from underground aquifers deep beneath the ground. Scientists and engineers have told the City there is very little, if any, chance that airborne hexavalent chromium can make its way into the Paramount water supply. Further, in compliance with federal and state guidelines, the City tests for hexavalent chromium in the water supply every three years and relays those results in the annual Water Consumer Confidence report that is made available to water users each year. The levels have always been well within the guidelines for safe and clean water.

However, to ease any concerns on this front, the City has begun testing the water supply more frequently for hexavalent chromium. The first test results were from samples taken on 12/20/2016 from two independent testing labs. Both results show hexavalent chromium to be less than 1 part per billion (ppb) in Paramount, the detection limit for drinking water. Samples were taken at eight different points in the water supply. While the test confirms the expectations based on previous science and engineering, residents should have further confidence that hexavalent chromium is not a threat to the City’s water supply.

In 2017, the State MCL of 10 PPB for hexavalent chromium in water supplies was challenged in court by the California Manufacturers and Technology Association and the Solano County Taxpayers Association. As a result of findings that the State failed to consider economic factors when implementing the MCL, the 10 PPB MCL has been eliminated. The State will continue to enforce a MCL for Total Chromium of 50 PPB; “Total Chromium” refers to chromium in all its forms, including hexavalent chromium as well as other non-harmful chromium. In the 2016 Consumer Confidence Report, the City of Paramount reported 0.12 PPB in Total Chromium in the water supply.

The City will continue to test for hexavalent chromium in the Paramount water supply at a frequency that far exceeds federal and state standards to ensure the public’s trust in its drinking water.

December 2016