CLAIM: Paramount’s drinking water exceeded the EPA’s maximum contaminant level for arsenic in 2008 and 2009.
The City of Paramount has its water tested by independent labs on a regular basis to make sure there are no impurities or dangerous levels of contaminants in the supply delivered to consumers. One component that is looked at monthly is the presence of arsenic.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established a maximum contamination level (MCL) for arsenic of 10 ppb. Amounts of the chemical above this are considered unsafe for drinking, while levels below are considered safe.
In its raw, naturally occurring state, the water pumped from the ground at Well #13 does, on average, have an amount of arsenic that exceeds the EPA’s maximum contamination level. However, that water is treated and cleansed – like all water in the Paramount system – so what residents receive has insignificant traces of arsenic well within the safe levels as determined by the EPA.
The State of California checks on the quality of Paramount’s water. If they found unsafe levels or any chemical, including arsenic, they would shut our water utility down.
That has never happened in Paramount.
It was recently posted on social media that Paramount’s water exceeded the MCL for arsenic in 2008 and 2009 as described in the City’s Consumer Confidence Reports for those years. That posting chose to ignore a footnote in the CCR that stated: “While your drinking water meets the federal and state standard for arsenic, it does contain low levels of arsenic. … For this well system, the filtration treatment technique is used to remove arsenic and manganese from the water prior to distribution. Water after treatment is in compliance and below the MCL.”
One of the City’s most important and serious duties is providing safe, clean water to its residents. That will never change; Paramount’s water has always been, and will continue to be, completely safe for any use.