Potentially harmful chemicals in city's water

- Results from a nationwide test are in and San Angelo's drinking water supply contains 7 out of 28 potentially harmful chemicals. City employees said the levels are still within safe drinking guidelines.

Every 5 years, the Environmental Protection Agency conducts tests on city drinking water supplies across the country to determine whether water is safe for residents.

The EPA's test results for the City of San Angelo indicate traces of 7 potentially harmful chemicals, some of which have been linked to causing bone problems and cancer.

Water Quality Superintendent, Tymn Combest, said the levels are so low the water is still safe to drink.

"They were such low levels that, I don't think, they would ever be above a regulatory level; so, I don't think there are going to be any issues with these," Combest said.

Strontium is a chemical which some said can impair bone growth and it is the most prevalent.

Combest said the amount would have to increase drastically to make the water unsafe for human consumption.

"I believe the highest one was probably strontium at two part per million... uh, it really shouldn't have any effect," Combest continued.

To remove more the potentially harmful chemicals, a different treatment process would be needed.

"It would take a different treatment process... probably activated carbon or some other type of treatment to remove organics," said Combest.

This is one of two places where tests are done to determine how many contaminants are in the drinking water.

"Two test sites that we pull these ucmr3 samples on...one of them is at the Water Plant where the water enters the system and the other is at 29th Street and North Bryant...which allows the water to sit in the lines a period of time to see if anything is actually going to increase as it is sitting in the water line," Combest explained.

The EPA's findings will have no immediate effect on the City of San Angelo's water supply; but, could in the future.

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