Arsenic Level In PMC Water Is Explained

“Now you see it; Now you don’t!” is the parlor magician’s way of introducing a fancy magic trick, but if arsenic in your family’s drinking water is the substance disappearing, we all want details, quickly.

The Mil Potrero Mutual Water Company (MPMWC) provided residents of Pine Mountain these facts in their newsletter, distributed October 22, according to longtime employee Cameron Acosta: 1) Naturally occurring arsenic at 0.019 milligram per liter (mg/L) has been present in the water of Well 07 for many years; 2) the California Department of Public Health’s standard changed from 0.050 to 0.010 mg/L in November 2008; 3) but water is distributed to homes from storage tanks, not wells; and 4) storage tanks hold a diluted blend of water from many wells, all processed and filtered at a central water treatment plant.

“All water from each of the active wells is pumped to the MPMWC water treatment plant (located near Lampkin Park) where it is filtered and blended with water from other wells, then pumped to the storage tanks,” Acosta said.

Arsenic is a naturally occurring mineral in some well water worldwide. It can also be introduced into groundwater by industrial chicken farming, agricultural fertilizers and computer conductor manufacturing. The arsenic in Well 07’s water is a naturally occurring mineral. Arsenic at higher levels, ingested over a long period of time, can be carcinogenic.

“Although the tests are taken at the well, none of the water in the tanks that supply our homes has arsenic readings at that 0.019 mg/L level; all readings at all tanks are below the state standards,” Acosta emphasized.

This is part of the November 05, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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