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Los Osos CSD finds harmful chemical in water

The Los Osos Community Services District found levels of hexavalent chromium in its water supply that exceeded the state standard. This image is an example of what the substance looks like.
The Los Osos Community Services District found levels of hexavalent chromium in its water supply that exceeded the state standard. This image is an example of what the substance looks like.

The Los Osos Community Services District has reported the presence of a chemical compound in its water supply known to increase the risk of cancer if consumed for many years.

The district posted a notice on its website that water sample results taken on Dec. 7 showed levels of hexavalent chromium that exceeded the state standard.

Also known as Chromium VI, hexavalent chromium is the same chemical that was found in the drinking water of the Southern California town of Hinkley and brought to public attention by environmental activist Erin Brockovich.

The Los Osos district said the presence of the water contaminant doesn’t pose an immediate health risk. If the situation was considered an emergency, water customers would be notified immediately, according to the alert.

Testing in Los Osos found 11 micrograms of hexavalent chromium per liter of water. The state standard is 10 micrograms per liter.

“We have stopped using the well site and have increased pumping at other wells,” the district wrote on its website.

The district added that anyone experiencing health problems because they consumed the water may wish to consult with a doctor.

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