Madison Water Utility Statement on Hexavalent Chromium

December 20, 2010

In response to a report by the national Environmental Working Group on possible chromium-6 contamination in water, the Madison Water Utility wants to emphasize that our water is safe to drink, according to General Manager Tom Heikkinen.

"Madison's drinking water meets or exceeds all current standards mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and we have never had a drinking water violation," said Heikkinen. "Our water is routinely tested for nearly 200 chemical substances. The amount of testing performed by Madison as part of its water quality monitoring exceeds the regulatory requirements established by the EPA and the Wisconsin DNR."

No water utility has the resources to test for the thousands of substances in our environment, many occurring naturally, that are now able to be detected at micro levels by new scientific methods. Therefore we continue to support research by the EPA, the Water Research Foundation, and other government and scientific organizations. The EPA is currently evaluating new data about chromium 6, and those results are expected in 2011.

The Environmental Working Group is an advocacy group, not a scientific organization. A single sample from one tap does not represent the whole water system, nor have scientists determined at what level hexavalent chromium in drinking water affects humans. Even so, the utility is planning to test for hexavalent chromium so that we can provide the public with that information.

Madison Water Utility remains committed to providing clean, healthy, and safe drinking water to our customers.

Contact:
  • Gail Gawenda, Water Utility PIO, 266-9129