Hexavalent Chromium-6

Western Water delivers its customers the highest quality water available. When Western Water 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 your water safe to drink, but your water supplies meet all state and federal drinking water standards, including those set for chromium-6.

Does the water delivered by Western Water contain chromium-6, and is the water safe to drink?

On average, there has been no detection of chromium-6 as reported in our most recent annual water quality report. The drinking water you receive from Western Water is safe to drink and meets all state and federal water quality standards.

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.

Is hexavalent chromium-6 in the water supply?

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

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

What levels of Chromium are considered safe?

There are 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.