No arsenic detected in FMHS water

The Mountain Enterprise was alerted Monday, Jan. 27 that a rumor was being circulated about possible arsenic in the Frazier Mountain High School well water.
It is not true that arsenic has been detected in the high school water, according to current lab reports.

“The October 2013 report has really good results,” said Rob Carruth, water operator for the Mil Potrero Mutual Water Company, consulted by The Mountain Enterprise. He is experienced with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) standards for arsenic levels in drinking water.

The FMHS results show that arsenic is listed as “none-detect[ed] (ND),” by the results reported by BC Laboratories, Inc. (Skookum H2O Monitoring) in October 2013.

The report could not be better for arsenic. There appears to be no factual basis for concern about arsenic.

The only constituent in the report that is close to the state standard is fluoride, which tested at 1.9 mg/L. The California Department of Public Health sets 2.0 mg/L as the fluoride standard.

Water in Piñon Pines and Lebec has tested with higher fluoride readings than the high school. Fluoride and arsenic are commonly found in groundwater in rural areas. That is why the state requires testing in 2-3 year cycles to monitor levels. They maintain a regular cycle for testing to confirm that drinking water is healthy.

Blending (diluting) and filtering are methods used by water districts to stay within CDPH guidelines.

Carruth is a water operator with experience in groundwater arsenic levels because one of the five Mil Potrero Mutual Water Company wells serving the Pine Mountain community has arsenic at a level above the state’s new standard of 10 ug/L. [“That said, no water is provided to residents direct from the well in the Mil Potrero system. It is piped to a central processing plant in Lampkin Park, where water is filtered and blended to be dependably within state health standards,” Carruth explained. From the processing plant, the water is pumped to storage tanks around the community, and provided to residences from there.]

Click here to see the laboratory reports for the Frazier Mountain High School well.

This is part of the January 31, 2014 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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