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July-December, 2006 Environmental Water News

 

Glastonbury, Connecticut Audubon Society to present lectures "Water, A Series of Six Considerations" focusing on the importance of water

Walter Landgraf will kick off the series Wednesday with a presentation titled "The Many Faces of Water." A naturalist for the Stone Museum at the People's State Forest in Barkhamsted, Landgraf will give a historical and sociological introduction to the many facets of water. On Jan. 10, Virginia deLima, director of the U.S. Geological Survey Connecticut Water Science Center, will go over the water cycle and how watersheds work, using data collected by USGS on floods and flows from earlier times to today. The program will discuss how new studies are resolving some of the mysteries surrounding ground water collection and flow. At a Jan. 17 lecture, David Rau, director of education at the Florence Griswold Museum, will discuss how water has been an important subject for painters over the years. Are we managing our water properly? James MacBroom, vice president of Water Resource and Environmental Engineering at Milone & MacBroom Inc. in Cheshire, will try to answer that Jan. 24. Brown trout and water management will be the subject of Kirt Mayland's lecture titled "Water Wars" scheduled for Jan. 31. Mayland is the director of the Eastern Water Project for Trout Unlimited. In what may be one of the more popular lectures, Johan Varekamp will talk about water riddles on Feb. 7. Some of the questions he will answer include: Why did beaver skin coats change the ecology of Long Island Sound, and how did hats make it unsafe for pregnant women to eat fish? The short answers are beaver dams and mercury. Varekamp is chairman of Earth and environmental science at Wesleyan University. Hartford Courant_ 12/28/06

New strategy for Great Lakes water quality
Pay some now for prevention or a whole lot more later for cleanup

About five years before zebra mussels launched their invasion of the Great Lakes in the mid-1980s, Canadian researchers warned that it was coming.  But neither Canada nor the United States took steps to stop the tiny mollusk from hitchhiking to the lakes from Europe inside ballast tanks of oceangoing freighters. Now, controlling the pest costs taxpayers hundreds of millions a year.  "We're paying many times the price we would have had to pay if we'd taken a preventive approach," says Cameron Davis, executive director of the Alliance for the Great Lakes.  "The entire history of the Great Lakes is like that - suspecting a threat but not heeding the warning signs."  As both countries ponder the first significant update of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement in almost two decades, a coalition of environmentalist groups has developed a wide-ranging set of proposed improvements.  Among them: adding to the agreement's list of bedrock principles the "precautionary approach," or trying to head off potential threats before they materialize instead of waiting to clean up the mess afterward.  "It means paying attention to scientific research and listening to the early warning bells," says Davis, whose group crafted the wish list with Great Lakes United, the Canadian Environmental Law Association and the Biodiversity Project. Numerous other organizations have endorsed it, he says.  The Enquirer_12/28/06


EPA removes 1,324 leaking drums in Ohio
Paint, solvents could seep into drinking water

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has discovered thousands of drums leaking paint and solvents near the Kings Mills Army Reserve where contaminated soil and groundwater was found 20 years ago.  Concerned that the contamination at 6451 Striker Road in Maineville could be seeping toward the nearby Little Miami River or Deerfield Twp.-Hamilton Twp. well field — a primary drinking water source for Warren County — the Ohio EPA requested federal assistance in April.  Federal EPA officials have found and removed 1,324 paint drums – some buried 20 feet deep – containing elevated levels of metals and solvents, including tichloroethylene, a colorless liquid used as a solvent to clean metal parts since the cleanup began in November, said Steven Renninger, the U.S. EPA onsite manager.  "The hope is to remove the waste before it impacts the well field," Renninger said. "We're not calling it an emergency at this point, we're calling it a time-critical removal action, which means it needs to be done as soon as possible."  The cleanup, which has cost $500,000 so far, will be paid for with funds from the EPA's federal Superfund program, unless authorities determine who buried the drums.  The Pulse Journal_12/27/06

Boil water notice lifted in time for Christmas for 3,000 customers of South Carolina's  Browns Ferry Water Co.

Samples taken by an independent lab showed no signs of coliform. Adam Myrick, spokesman for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, said the agency was notified early Friday that the flushing and repairs done by the water company during the past week were successful. The company has added chlorine and repaired motors and pumps on three wells that supply water to parts of Browns Ferry, said water district director Robert Lance. Customers of Browns Ferry Water Co. had been under a water-related alert since Dec. 14, when they were first told to bring their tap water to a full, rolling boil before drinking or cooking with the liquid. Although problems surfaced with water quality late last month, customers were notified last week about the possible E. coli contamination. DHEC will investigate how the problem happened, Myrick said. Myrtle Beach Sun News_ 12/23/06

Browns Ferry, South Carolina water remains unsafe to drink: Residents fed up and may have to eat out this Christmas

The boil-water notice came last week, after Browns Ferry Water Co. water samples tested by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control came back positive for E. coli. The agency has since said the samples don't contain E. coli but do indicate the presence of coliform. The unidentified bacteria can be dangerous so the boil-water notice will continue for an unknown period of time, said Adam Myrick, spokesman for DHEC. About 3,000 people who receive water from Browns Ferry Water Co. were issued the notice to boil their water. The utility is a public community water district that serves a population of 2,688, according to DHEC records. DHEC records indicate that prior citations against the company included one in September for exceeding the coliform contaminant level, failing to collect the required number of total coliform samples, failing to issue public notice to customers and submit a copy to DHEC, and failing to pay its fees for 2005 and 2006. Sun News/Red Orbit_ 12/22/06

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality finds arsenic in community's well water

At least 250 customers of a private water company in Chino Valley are drinking unsafe, arsenic-laden water, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality reported this week. On Tuesday ADEQ advised them to find an alternative water source, such as bottled water, for drinking and cooking. However, the department said that the water's users can safely shower, bathe and wash clothes without physical harm and without contracting long-term health problems. In late October ADEQ determined that the violator, Wilhoit Water Co.-Yavapai Estates, was issuing water from its Chino well that had arsenic levels 30 times higher than the federal government's standard. A Wilhoit Water Co. spokesperson said Tuesday that company officials are refusing comment on the matter at this time.The Town of Chino Valley, which in late November landed a $6 million low-interest loan from the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority to help the town buy all eight water companies and the City of Prescott service area within CV limits, is keeping a low profile at the moment. Wilhoit Water Co. represents one of those eight companies the town intends to buy. Daily Courier_ 12/20/06

Some mammals can use sense of smell under water
While mammals are known to be not able to use their sense of smell when in water, a U.S. scientist has identified at least two tiny semi-aquatic mammals, which can hunt under water using air bubbles generated from their own breath to smell.  Kenneth Catania, a biologist at the department of biological sciences at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee in the U.S., says the star-nosed mole and the water shrew are able to smell food under water.   Writing in the Nature, he says this has come as a total surprise because the common wisdom is that mammals cannot smell underwater as it is not possible to breath in air, which carries smell to the olfactory epithelium, situated in the nasal cavity which identifies odor.  Earth Times_12/21/06

Earth’s cleanest water about to become a garbage dump
In Canada’s oddly named community of Tiny Township in Central Ontario lies the world's most pristine groundwater. The water bubbling to the surface is so clean the only match for its purity is ice pulled from the bottom of Arctic ice cores from snows deposited thousands of years ago, well before any high-polluting industries existed. But the province has just approved placing a garbage dump on top of it, and the county plans to vote early next year on a budget for building the landfill. Garbage could be arriving within a year, threatening to pollute the water. Globe and Mail_ 12/16/06

2006 to be the world’s 6th warmest year
The year 2006 is set to be the world’s sixth-warmest year since records began 150 years ago, the World Meteorological Organisation said yesterday, offering more evidence of a trend most scientists blame on greenhouse gases. The ten warmest years have all occurred in the last 12 years, according to the United Nations weather agency. It said 2006 had been marked by extreme drought and heavy flooding in the greater Horn of Africa, record wildfires in the United States, torrential rainfall in the Philippines, shrinking sea ice in the Arctic and the warmest autumn in Europe. Reuters/The Peninsula_ 12/15/06

NOAA reports 2006 3rd warmest on record in the U.S.
The average annual temperature for the contiguous U.S. will likely be the third warmest on record in 2006, according to scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. The year is noted for widespread drought and record wildfires, as well as heavy precipitation and flooding in some parts of the country. Following the warmest year on record for the globe in 2005, the annual global temperature for 2006 is expected to be sixth warmest since recordkeeping began in 1880. News Release_ 12/14/06

Boxford, Massachusetts water system showing high arsenic levels
Bottled water is on tap for many Boxford town employees after a higher-than-acceptable level of arsenic was discovered inside the water well that services three municipal buildings. The water bubblers were turned off last week and signs taped to bathroom doors inside Town Hall, the Police Department and Department of Public Works warning people not to drink the tap water. Boxford Health Agent Kendall Quarles said the state’s Department of Environmental Protection notified the town last week that water samples showed .025 parts per billion of arsenic. Under recently upgraded state standards the maximum amount of arsenic acceptable in a public water supply is .005 parts per billion. The three buildings get their water from a 1,400-foot-deep well drilled 10 years ago in a swampy area a few hundred yards from the Police Department. Arsenic is a naturally occurring element that if taken in large quantities can lead to skin, bladder and lung cancer. Lesser effects include nausea, vomiting and fatigue. Tri-Town Transcript_ 12/14/06

Statement by Sharon Dillon at the EPA listening session on bottled water on behalf of the Franciscan Federation and Corporate Accountability International
"... In light of the water crisis facing our world today, we are eager to collaborate with agencies and organizations that pursue both increasing access to water and maintenance and improvement of the public infrastructure that provides this fundamental need. ... We believe that it is vital that the water policies of the EPA acknowledge and affirm water as a human right, (a God given gift) and establish policies that protect all Americans' right to safe and convenient water, taking into account both efficiency and equity. Water is our Sister, and that relationship is as relevant as a "sister" in my familial relationship." News Release/Yahoo_ 12/12/06

Groundwater in major eastern U.S. aquifer meets mosty federal standards - USGS

Many chemicals were detected in ground water from selected areas of the Piedmont Aquifer System (PAS), but concentrations of those chemicals were below drinking-water standards in most cases, according to a report released by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). For example, none of the 47 pesticides or 59 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) analyzed exceeded drinking-water standards. The PAS is a major aquifer in the eastern United States that follows the eastern foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. It underlies portions of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and southern New York. It provides drinking water for 7 million people. Nitrate is one contaminant to continue to monitor and assess because concentrations of nitrate exceeded the federal drinking-water standard of 10 milligrams per liter in 11 percent of the wells sampled,? says lead author Bruce Lindsey. ?These wells were mostly domestic supply wells, and the results are fairly consistent with other USGS ground-water studies across the Nation, indicating the continued need for regular testing of ground-water supplies, especially those from private water wells used by individual homes where nitrate was most commonly found. Findings also show that rock settings can have a great effect on ground-water quality, particularly for radon, a natural product from the radioactive decay of uranium. The federal drinking-water standard for radon is currently under review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Radon levels in this study were greater than a previously proposed standard of 300 picocuries per liter in more than 90 percent of the wells sampled; however, only 13 percent of those wells had concentrations in water that exceeded the alternative maximum contaminant level (AMCL), a higher level that can be used by municipalities addressing other sources of radon exposure. USGS/Public Works.com_ 12/6/06

Washington State Ecology Dept upgrades water quality rules

The state is upgrading water quality standards concerning pollution, temperature and dissolved oxygen levels in a bid to make dozens of watersheds healthier for fish, wildlife and people, the Department of Ecology announced Wednesday.  The new standards, which take effect later this month, aim to maintain the health of lakes, rivers and marine waters.  They require colder water and in some cases more dissolved oxygen to assure healthy summertime spawning and rearing habitat for the region's salmon runs, many of which have been listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.  Ecology will begin applying the standards Dec. 21 to new wastewater-discharge permits and water-quality improvement plans.  The new standards will be incorporated into existing permits and plans over time.  Seattle Post Intelligencer_12/6/06

Billions of litres of raw sewage dumped into Great Lakes annually from Canada, U.S., report says

The first comprehensive look at the amount of raw sewage flowing into the Great Lakes from cities in Canada and the United States has found that billions of litres are being dumped untreated every year into the sources of drinking water for communities on both sides of the border. The largest discharges came from big cities such as Detroit, Cleveland and Toronto, where antiquated sewage treatment systems are regularly overwhelmed when it rains and their contents swept untreated into the lakes. But even smaller communities, such as Ontario's London and Kingston, release large quantities of raw sewage. Information on the discharges was compiled by the Sierra Legal Defence Fund, based mainly on estimates the environmental group obtained from the municipalities themselves. According to city figures, sewage dumping occurs hundreds of times a year, releasing a cocktail of human waste, disease-causing organisms and hundreds of synthetic chemicals from drugs and personal care products. The total volume of untreated waste at the 20 cities from which the group obtained information was about 98 billion litres a year, enough to fill 37,000 Olympic-size swimming pools with sewage. This volume likely underestimates the magnitude of the pollution problem because it is based on cities representing only about a third of the region's 35 million residents. Globe and Mail_ 11/29/06

Saving water for not-so-rainy days: Chris Dewey tries to get developers in St. Petersburg, Florida to build green

When it comes to promoting conservation, Chris Dewey is part scientist, part innovator. But mostly he's a psychologist. Dewey's title is builders/developers outreach coordinator for the Florida Yards & Neighborhoods program, a part of the Pasco County Extension Service. He is charged with the task of encouraging builders and developers to think green when constructing homes, shopping centers and offices. Developers are building greener, he says, because it makes good business sense, and they know the water shortages will only get worse as the area grows. St. Petersburg Times_ 11/26/06

Chesapeake Bay advocates want sewage and other cleanup pledge

Grass-roots environmental groups from five states and the District of Columbia are urging newly elected political leaders to take seriously the task of cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay or risk losing it forever as a thriving ecosystem. River-protection advocates representing Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., have signed a Declaration for Our Watersheds, which calls on state and federal officials to honor cleanup commitments outlined in the Chesapeake 2000 agreement. In that agreement, officials pledged to reduce pollution from sewage treatment plants and farm and storm water runoff by 2010. Many of the pollution-reduction goals are not on pace to be met, mostly because of a lack of money, said David Bancroft, president for the Alliance of the Chesapeake Bay, an advocacy group that organized the declaration. The more time it takes, he said, the more perilous conditions become for crabs, oysters and other bay life. Baltimore Sun_ 11/21/06 (logon required)

Part of Morro Bay, California's groundwater drinking water supply tainted by two decades of discharges from septic tanks and fertilizers

High levels of nitrates found in six Morro Bay water wells last week likely accrued at a steady rate for the past 20 years, City Manager Bob Hendrix said Monday. The city learned Wednesday that nitrate levels in its groundwater wells were above acceptable drinking levels. The city normally uses state water, but an annual shutdown for maintenance on the pipeline meant the city had to switch to groundwater. That prompted the city to advise people to avoid drinking tap water, especially pregnant women, infants younger than 6 months and people with blood- related disorders. If ingested, nitrates take oxygen from the blood supply. Symptoms including shortness of breath, and blueness of the skin can develop within days in infants. The advisory was lifted Saturday, and as of Monday, the city was back to using state water. San Luis Obispo Tribune_ 11/21/06

California water standard for perchlorate scrutinized

State health officials may revisit the "public health goal" for perchlorate in drinking water after reviewing recent research that shows even minute traces of the rocket-fuel chemical lowers essential thyroid hormones in women causing metabolic problems and neurological damage to fetuses. The study, released in October by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is under review at the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Based on that review, the environmental agency could lower the 6 parts per billion standard it set in 2004, said spokesman Alan Hirsch. In July, Massachusetts set the nation's first drinking water standard for perchlorate of 2 ppb. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found a significant link between exposure to perchlorate at levels as low as 3 ppb and reduced thyroid levels in women. AP/Gilroy Dispatch_ 11/21/06

Los Angeles Times 4-part series on water and other environmental poison from uranium mining on Navajo lands
From 1944 to 1986, 3.9 million tons of uranium ore were dug and blasted from Navajo soil, nearly all of it for America's atomic arsenal. Navajos inhaled radioactive dust, drank contaminated water and built homes using rock from the mines and mills. Many of the dangers persist to this day. This four-part series examines the legacy of uranium mining on the Navajo reservation. 11/19/06-11/22/06

Part 1 : Unaware of the danger

Part 2 : Toxic water

Part 3: Botched cleanup

Part 4: New Technology

Boil-water warning lifted for 1 million in Greater Vancouver, but 1 million more still warned to avoid tap water

Friday's announcement came just a day after the boil-water advisory was issued by the Greater Vancouver Regional District after brown, murky water showed up in the water supply in the aftermath of the powerful storm that hit B.C.'s south coast this week. Officials said it's not clear when people still affected by the advisory would be able to drink unboiled tap water again. Tap water in all the affected areas has been brown and cloudy since the storm and could cause gastrointestinal illness, medical health officers said. CBC_ 11/17/06

Three nesting owl chicks clog Everglades water cleanup project
Three barn owl chicks found nesting in an abandoned shed stand in the way of a key part of the multibillion-dollar project to restore the Everglades.  State water managers, facing a December deadline to clean up polluted water, now plan to spend $200,000 to build around the federally protected owls.  "This is one of those little hiccups," said Tommy Strowd, an assistant deputy executive director for the South Florida Water Management District. "This is all part of building things in the swamps of South Florida."  The owls are nesting in an old maintenance shed on former sugarcane fields in Hendry County where work crews are building a "flow way," a canal that is part of an $18 million project intended to clean water that otherwise would carry pollutants into the Everglades.  Working around the habitat of other protected birds as well as Florida panthers also has slowed construction of projects that are part of the more than $10 billion effort to restore the natural flow of water to the Everglades.  But after years of draining land and destroying wildlife habitat to make room for South Florida farms and neighborhoods, environmentalists say it makes sense to save as many animals as possible.  Sun-Sentinel_11/16/06

Tucson, Arizona Convention Center leaking tainted water; aquifer to be tested

A series of water leaks in the ventilation system that serves the Tucson Convention Center and Police and Fire department headquarters has been pouring 1,000 gallons of water tainted with a suspected carcinogen each day into the ground nearby. The leaks, in the pipes that carry water for heating and cooling to nearby city buildings, were discovered in August, but have not been pinpointed and may have existed since 2003. Sodium nitrite, a common food additive, is used to prevent pipes from corroding. When combined with oxygen, it becomes sodium nitrate, said Nancy Petersen, deputy director of the city's Environmental Services Department. High levels of the compound in drinking water have been linked to cancer and can hamper infants' ability to get oxygen into the bloodstream, she said. Officials said while they are not sure if the leaking water has made its way into the aquifer 40 feet underground, there are no city wells in the area and the drinking water downtown is piped from other areas of town. Petersen said the department will begin testing in the area around TCC to ensure the sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate levels are below health and environmental standards set by the EPA and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. Tucson Citizen_ 10/31/06 (logon required)

Frozen in memories, but melting before their eyes: Switzerland's shrinking glaciers

Experts say the Rhone glacier may melt completely in this century. The glacier, whose soft contours and dirty gray surface make it resemble some huge sea creature, a whale perhaps, is rapidly shrinking, in the mild autumn weather, by 12 to 15 feet a day. Eight thousand years ago, the glacier was the largest in Europe, with arms that reached all the way to Lyon, in France. Indeed, it remains the source of the Rhone River, which flows westward into France and from there into the Mediterranean. Now, however, it is only the fifth largest glacier in Switzerland, and experts foresee the day, probably in this century, when the glacier, all six miles of it, will melt away to nothing. The glacier’s suffering is not unique. All of Switzerland’s glaciers — and there are more than a hundred, large and small, experts say — have lost about 15 percent of their surface in just the past two decades. The experts say global warming is the reason, though particularly hot summers, which might have happened anyway, also played a role. New York Times_ 10/24/06 (logon required)

North Carolina's Triangle area looks to keep drinking water clean

Community and government leaders came together Monday to announce plans to keep the Triangle's drinking water reservoirs clean. It's called the Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative Conservation Plan. The goal is to preserve natural buffer areas around streams and creeks that flow into drinking water reservoirs in the Upper Neuse River Basin. The basin provides drinking water for more than 500,000 people in Wake, Durham, Orange, Franklin, Granville and Person counties. Supporters say increasing buffer areas will significantly reduce the amount of runoff and pollution flowing into tributaries, eventually making its way into our drinking water supply. News 14 Carolina_ 10/23/06

DNA found in drinking water could aid germs

DNA that helps make germs resistant to medicines may increasingly be appearing as a pollutant in the water. This DNA was found "even in treated drinking water," researcher Amy Pruden, an environmental engineer at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, told LiveScience. The spread of this DNA could exacerbate the already growing problem of drug resistance among potentially infectious microbes. Diseases once considered eradicated, such as tuberculosis, are making alarming comebacks. Currently, more than two million Americans are infected each year by resistant germs, and 14,000 die as a result, the World Health Organization reports. LiveScience.com_ 10/23/06

NOAA outlook calls for mild winter for most of the U.S.

Most of the country will see winter temperatures above normal though slightly cooler than last year's very warm winter, according to the winter weather outlook announced today by NOAA. According to scientists at the NOAA Climate Prediction Center, who produce the outlook, drought conditions also are expected to improve in most areas of the Southwest, while some drought conditions are anticipated in parts of the Pacific Northwest. Weak El Niño conditions have developed in the tropical Pacific and are expected to persist through the winter, possibly strengthening during the next few months to an event of moderate strength. However, this event is not expected to reach the magnitude of the very strong 1997-1998 El Niño event. Seasonal forecasters also expect warmer than average temperatures across the West, the Southwest, the Plains states, the Midwest, most of the Northeast, and the northern mid-Atlantic, as well as most of Alaska. Near-average temperatures are expected for parts of the Southeast, while below-average temperatures are anticipated for Hawaii. The outlook for winter precipitation calls for wetter than average conditions across the Southwest from Southern California to Texas and for Florida and the south Atlantic Coast. Drier than average conditions are expected in the Tennessee Valley, the northern Rockies, the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. The pattern of rainfall in the West is expected to improve drought conditions across Arizona and Texas, but result in drought across parts of Idaho, Washington and Oregon. NOAA_ 10/10/06

Lettuce recalled on E.coli fears in irrigation water

A popular brand of lettuce grown in California's Salinas Valley, the region at the center of a nationwide spinach scare, has been recalled over concerns about E. coli contamination. The lettuce does not appear to have caused any illnesses, according to the Salinas-based Nunes Co. Inc. Executives ordered the recall Sunday after learning that irrigation water may have been contaminated with E. coli, Tom Nunes said. So far, company investigators have not found E. coli bacteria in the lettuce itself, Nunes said. "We'd rather make a mistake and be overly careful than getting somebody sick," company president Tom Nunes Jr. said. AP/CBS_ 10/9/06

Lowell, Indiana leaves home near landfill because of contaminated water

A northern Indiana family has evacuated their home near a closed landfill after finding arsenic had seeped into their well. Town officials in Lowell say area residents are at low risk for contamination, however. Authorities say the family was not in danger because they had been drinking bottled water. ABC7Chicago_ 10/6/06

Perchlorate in drinking water linked to thyroid problems in women

Women exposed to perchlorate, the rocket-fuel chemical that contaminates hundreds of California water wells, may suffer suppressed thyroid function, which can lead to health problems for them and abnormal brain development in their offspring, according to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study, published Wednesday, is the first research that links reduced thyroid hormones in people to the low amounts of perchlorate routinely found in Americans. Women with low iodine levels -- more than one-third of U.S. women -- were most at risk from the chemical, according to the report. Perchlorate is a pervasive threat in California, where more than 450 wells and other water sources are known to be contaminated, primarily in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Sacramento counties, according to the state health department. Perchlorate is used in rocket fuel, explosives, fireworks, road flares and air bag inflation systems. Much of the contamination comes from military bases and aerospace plants, where perchlorate was used as the explosive component of solid rocket fuels. In adddition to drinking water, it also is found in milk, cheese, lettuce and other crops, as well as breast milk and baby formula. The study findings could provide major evidence for the Environmental Protection Agency, which for years has been reviewing whether it should set a national standard for perchlorate in drinking water. Los Angeles Times/San Jose Mercury News_ 10/5/06

Maui well water quality questioned

Assurances from a panel of experts appeared to do little yesterday to quell the debate over whether water from two pesticide-contaminated wells in Pa'ia can be safely filtered for drinking. The panel was convened by Mayor Alan Arakawa to assure residents that the water is safe. Residents who would be using the water question what amount, if any, constitutes a "safe" level of contamination, and why the wells are being put into regular service when there would appear to be other, cleaner sources available. The two Hamakuapoko wells tap into groundwater that contains the carcinogen DBCP, which has the chemical name 1,2dibromo-3-chloropropane, which was used in Hawai'i until 1984. Other chemicals used on pineapple fields that are found in the wells are EDB (ethylene dibromide) and TCP, chemical name 1,2,3trichloropropane. Honolulu Advertiser_ 9/29/06

Dirty water 'kills 1.5 million kids a year'

UNICEF Report

At least 1.5 million children under five each year die because of a lack of clean drinking water and proper sanitation, UNICEF has said.  A billion people worldwide - nearly half of them children - still drink water that is unsafe, risking diarrhoea-related illnesses and cholera.  However, the UNICEF report adds that since 1990 more than 1.2 billion people have gained access to clean drinking water.  The lack of access to water is worst in sub-Saharan Africa, which represents about 11 per cent of the world's population but almost a third of all people without access to safe drinking water.  Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger, Equatorial Guinea and Chad are worst hit, the report said.  ITN_9/28/06

Full UNICEF report

Concern grows over aging rural water wells

Concern is growing over drinking water in many unincorporated towns and rural homes where old water wells are testing positive for contaminates such as coliform and nitrates.  In Toeterville, in northern Iowa's Mitchell County, three of the small town's wells also tested positive for E. Coli. The town's 52 residents in 22 homes get water from private wells.  The problem goes far beyond Toeterville.  Substandard drinking water is a problem for many rural residents, officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said. Sioux City Journal_9/27/06

Earth's temperature could be reaching highest level in a million years

Researchers at Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies said a further one degree celsius rise in the global temperature could be critical to the planet, and there was already a threat of extreme weather resulting from El Niño. The scientists said that in the 30 years to the end of 2005, temperatures increased at the rate of 0.2 degrees per decade, a rate they described as "remarkably rapid". The study showed that global warming was greatest at high latitudes in the northern hemisphere. The study attributed this to the effect of snow and ice melting, leaving dark areas that absorb more sunlight. Plants and animals have been observed migrating towards the poles to find areas where the temperature better suits them. However, Dr James Hansen, who led the study, said that they were not keeping up with the pace at which temperature zones are moving - this movement had reached 25 miles per decade between 1975 and 2005. Guardian Unlimited_ 9/26/06

E. Coli pervades water in California spinach harvest area

The bacterium that has sickened people across the nation and forced growers to destroy spinach crops is so pervasive in Monterey County's Salinas Valley that virtually every waterway there violates national standards. Bacteria-contaminated spinach has killed one woman and sickened at least 145 others in 23 states. The source of the pathogen has not yet been pinpointed, but tainted water is considered a likely culprit. Only one waterway in the lower Salinas River watershed does not violate federal E. coli standards, and it is in a state park, surrounded by natural land. Some waterways are so contaminated they contain 12,000 or more organisms per 100 milliliters of water — 30 times the Environmental Protection Agency's standard. Ingesting just a few organisms can make a person sick. Los Angeles Times_ 9/21/06 (logon required)

Judge orders US environmental agency to issue new rules on ballast water discharge
A judge has ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to begin regulating the discharge of ballast water from ships to prevent invasive species from harming local ecosystems.  U.S. District Judge Susan Illston's order follows her ruling last year that the EPA could not exempt shipping companies from having to obtain permits to dump ballast water, which is held at the bottom of ships to keep them stable.  "The EPA regulation is plainly contrary to the congressional intent embodied in the (Clean Water Act)," Illston wrote in the ruling issued Monday in San Francisco.   International Herald Tribune_9/21/06

On the Water Trail
The state of Virginia is spearheading an effort to create the nation's first historic water trail, in the Chesapeake Bay. Conservationists and history enthusiasts launched an effort that has received the imprimatur of the National Park Service.   The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail would create a series of water routes throughout the Bay and its tributaries, tracing the exploratory journeys Smith made in an open 30-foot boat. The trail's many virtues -- such as the absence of any need for land acquisition or regulatory control of private property - - include special interpretive buoys. The buoys involve a cooperative effort involving the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Verizon, which is providing technological help. They would provide not only historical information to recreational boaters following the trail, but also a vast array of scientific and educational information about the Bay (everything from water quality to acoustics) through an innovative coastal- observatory system.  RedOrbit_9/21/06

Santa Monica Bay cities can be fined if water doesn't meet clean standards
Regional water officials voted Thursday to fine cities surrounding Santa Monica Bay up to $10,000 a day if the water at their beaches does not meet clean-water standards.  Conservationists hailed the decision by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board as the strongest regulation to protect beachgoers in the United States. They expect it to be the first of many.  "I'm very happy for the future of the county and for future generations that can finally look toward clean beaches," said Tracy Egoscue, executive director of Santa Monica Baykeeper. "This is a trail blazer."  The ongoing effort to clean up the area's bacteria pollution stems out of a larger plan outlined in a 1999 settlement of a lawsuit filed by environmental groups. Government officials and the groups worked out a schedule to set limits on a variety of pollutants that end up in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. These include bacteria, trash, toxic metals and chemical pollutants.  Local government must meet "total maximum daily loads" or limits on these pollutants that make their way into the county's numerous watersheds. Setting and enforcing bacteria limits is the first of about 100 of the pollutant limits that conservationists hope will eventually be enforced.  San Jose Mercury News_9/15/06

U.S. has 2nd warmest summer on record; year so far hottest since recordkeeping began

Summer ended with the 11th warmest August on record for the contiguous United States and the 3-month summer season as the 2nd warmest on record. Combined with other unusually warm months this year, the year-to-date temperature climbed to its highest level since national records began in 1895. Above average rainfall in much of the central and southwestern U.S. in August led to improving drought conditions in some areas, but moderate to extreme drought continued to affect 40% of the nation, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. The average June-August 2006 temperature for the contiguous United States (based on preliminary data) was 2.4°F (1.3°C) above the 20th century average of 72.1°F (22.3°C). This was the second warmest summer on record, slightly cooler than the record set during the Dust Bowl year of 1936. Eight of the past ten summers have been warmer than average in the U.S. Not since the decade of the 1930's have summer temperatures been as warm as the most recent ten years in the U.S. National Climatic Data Center_ 9/14/06

Jordan River: Some are baptised in it, others pollute it

Wading into the Jordan River, the pastor blessed his flock, tapping the believers on the head before sending them into the hallowed waters to be baptized. The faithful wet their faces and arms, shouting 'amen' and 'hallelujah' after each baptism, unaware that just downstream, raw sewage was flowing into the water. That's the split personality of one of the world's most sacred rivers. Small sections of the Jordan's upper portion, near the Sea of Galilee, have been kept pristine for baptisms. But Israel, Jordan and Syria have siphoned off huge amounts of river water to meet their needs in this arid region, and pumped waste water back in. Hardest hit is the 60-mile downstream stretch -- a meandering stream from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. Environmentalists say the practice has almost destroyed the river's ecosystem. AP/Environmental News Network_ 9/11/06

Mountains underrated as sources of drinking water: International expert

Bruno Messerli of the University of Bern presented a case study at an international water forum in Canada. Mountains need to be thought of as rocky water towers and protected by government, Messerli said. That must involve more of an effort to implement the Kyoto accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Rosenberg International Forum on Water Policy, being held this year in the Rocky Mountain resort of Banff, has brought together more than 50 of the world's foremost experts on water conservation and management. Mountains account for 20 to 50 per cent of runoff in humid-temperate regions. In semi-arid and arid areas that contribution rises to between 50 and 90 per cent of the water supply. What is alarming, said Messerli, is a three-degree increase in the temperature in the Rocky Mountains over the last three decades. He warned it's possible that future climate warming with its effects on glaciers, snowpacks and evaporation will combine with cyclic drought and increasing human activity to cause a water crisis. CP/CNews_ 9/8/06

Virginia water board rejects two major development proposals

The State Water Control Board rejected two major development proposals Wednesday - one on the Peninsula, the other on the Eastern Shore - in decisions cheered by environmentalists and watermen. First, the panel voted down a request from Newport News Waterworks to extend until 2012 a state permit for the massive King William Reservoir, a $230 million project to supply drinking water for the next 50 years on the Peninsula. Opponents have long argued, often in vain, that the project would destroy more than 400 acres of wetlands, is too big, would encourage urban sprawl, and would flood American Indian historical sites and fishing grounds. The panel also unanimously rejected a plan from a Maryland developer to build a private sewage treatment plant near Chincoteague Bay so that more than 4,000 homes might be constructed on the marshy edges of Accomack County on the Eastern Shore. Virginian-Pilot_ 9/7/06

Study determines DBPs in drinking water don't harm fetuses

DBPs (disinfection by-products) are created by the interaction of chlorine with organic material in raw water. Earlier studies raised concerns that DBPs in tap water were related to stillbirths. According to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology (available online September 5), a team of researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health headed by David A. Savitz, Ph.D., Director of the Center of Excellence in Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Disease Prevention at MSSM, and formerly Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have determined that drinking water DBPs -- in the range commonly encountered in the US -- do not affect fetal survival. Press Release/EurekaAlert_ 9/6/06

Seychelles: ships bound for Mahe to exchange ballast Wwater

Move to protect area from invasive marine species

Seychelles has set aside part of its territorial waters where visiting ships should exchange their ballast water before calling at Port Victoria.  This comes after scientists found three new marine invasive species. The measure is meant to protect the archipelago from alien organisms that can cause large economic losses annually.  "We have earmarked an area that is 80 miles from Port Victoria where the ships should stop, discharge their ballast water and take on fresh supplies," Captain Wilton Ernesta who heads the Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration said.  They will be able to check both manual and automatic recordings on incoming ships to verify if the ballast water pumps on board have been used as expected.  "The zone has been marked on hard and electronic copies of charts being given to ships," Ernesta said.  AllAfrica_9/6/06

August, 2006

EPA may allow states to transfer dirty water back into clean water

The Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of allowing states to dump dirty water filled with bacteria, toxic chemicals and invasive species into clean water without having to show the federal government that it won't hurt public health or the environment.  The EPA says it's up to states - not the federal government - to oversee transfers from one body of water to another. The agency argues that the Clean Water Act does not require states or local water agencies to obtain a federal permit to move water to irrigate fields, generate power, control floods or provide drinking water.  But the proposal has alarmed environmentalists and the attorneys general of more than a dozen states, including New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri and Pennsylvania.  In a scathing letter to the EPA, the attorneys general said the plan violates the Clean Water Act and would allow polluted water to be transferred into clean drinking water, salt water into fresh water, warm water into cold habitats, and chemical-laden water into irrigation water used for crops. They also argue that invasive species such as the zebra mussels - which have starved native fish in the Great Lakes by devouring plankton - could be thrust into waters that are not yet infested. Asian carp, another plankton-gobbling creature that crowds out native fish, could be dumped into Lake Michigan from the Illinois River under the EPA proposal, warns the Illinois attorney general's office.  "We were frankly astonished that EPA would propose something like this without even looking at the bad things that could happen," said Jim Tierney, an assistant New York attorney general.  Central Ohio_8/31/06

Suit faults EPA on water polluters
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has failed to crack down on water polluters, in some cases allowing up to 20 years to cut pollutants released into the San Francisco Bay and other state waterways, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by four environmental groups.  The groups want a federal judge in San Francisco to order the EPA to comply with the Clean Water Act and stop allowing delayed compliance with some anti-pollution laws that apply to imperiled waterways. The laws control discharges of harmful substances such as dioxins and mercury.  Alexis Strauss, the director of the regional EPA's water division, said the government expected the lawsuit and anticipates working closely with state regulators on the issue of compliance schedules for polluters.  The groups that filed the lawsuit are Baykeeper, Humboldt Baykeeper, Ecological Rights Foundation and Communities for a Better Environment.  San Francisco Chronicle_8/24/06

Tritium found in groundwater under California's San Onofre nuclear power plant

The discovery prompted the closure of one drinking-water well in southern Orange County, authorities said, although there was no indication the leak contaminated the drinking water supply. John Robertus, executive officer of the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, which governs the area, said groundwater is likely to migrate toward the ocean and away from drinking water wells. He said he was unhappy to learn federal officials approved a plan to pump tritium-tainted water into the ocean to dilute it. In recent years, tritium leaks have been found at more than a dozen nuclear plants across the nation, prompting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to form a task force this year to study the cause of the contamination. The findings are scheduled to be released this month. Los Angeles Times_ 8/18/06 (logon required)

Harwich, Massachusetts fireworks on again

The skies will light up over the Harwich Cranberry Festival after all, but fireworks financial contributors will determine how bright the glow will be. Selectmen, in a special meeting on Monday, agreed the use of nitrate-based fireworks would be allowed at the traditional ignition site on Sept. 16. Garden State Fireworks Company informed town officials this week they could design fireworks using a nitrate base, instead of more conventional perchlorate-based pyrotechnics. It was the presence of perchlorate, a possible carcinogen, which caused the town’s water commissioners to protest ignition of fireworks in a recharged zone to the public water supply. Selectmen supported the commission’s position last week when prohibiting the use of perchlorate in or near the recharge zone. Cape Cod Chronicle_ 8/17/06

Tritium in water under Wisconsin nuclear plant

The release of tritium underneath the Kewaunee nuclear plant doesn't pose a health risk because the radioactive substance hasn't been found in drinking water, federal nuclear regulators said. The radioactive isotope of hydrogen was found in four groundwater samples taken from narrow shafts underneath the nuclear plant, located in the Kewaunee County Town of Carlton, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a report. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Dominion Resources Inc., which owns Kewaunee, stressed that no unsafe levels of tritium have been detected at monitoring wells near the plant or outside the plant's boundary. Kewaunee is one of 10 plants around the country where tritium leaks have been found. The nuclear industry is stepping up testing for tritium. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/KRT/Hoovers_ 8/16/06

Harwich, Massachusetts festival fireworks doused by perchlorate contamination fears

The decision by selectmen Monday night to not allow for the ignition of fireworks in and around zones of contribution to public drinking water supplies douses hope for a pyrotechnic extravaganza during the Harwich Cranberry Festival in next month. Selectmen made the decision based on concerns raised by water commissioners in a letter to the board last month regarding the potential contamination to the water supply from perchlorate. The chemical compound is used in fireworks and is a known carcinogen, which can affect the function of the thyroid gland. The state department of environmental protection two weeks ago adopted a safe drinking water standard for perchlorate of two parts per billion. Officials said fireworks displays in other areas caused perchlorate contamination of the ground and the chemical could seep into water supplies. Water Department Superintendent Craig Wiegand cautioned selectmen two tablespoons of perchlorate would contaminate an Olympic-size pool. Cape Cod Chronicle_ 8/10/06

Alaska's Red Dog mine found in violation of Clean Water Act

The Red Dog Mine violated the Clean Water Act more than 600 times, a federal judge found in a lawsuit filed by Kivalina residents.  U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick in Anchorage denied several hundred other alleged pollution claims against the mine, located near Kotzebue.  The six plaintiffs argued that mine operator Teck Cominco discharged illegal amounts of pollution into a river they use for drinking water and subsistence fishing.  Sedwick ruled that the company violated its discharge permit 618 times by pumping too much effluent, or treated wastewater, into Red Dog Creek, which flows into the Wulik River, according to court documents.  Kivalina, 66 miles downstream from Red Dog, relies on the river for its drinking water.  ADN.com_8/2/06

Arizona well water raises arsenic and other quality issues as well as quantity

Tucson and Southern Arizona have ample supplies of water into the future, according to a new report from the University of Arizona’s Water Research Center, provided there is effective management. Not addressed in the report, though, was the growing concern over arsenic and other contaminants. The Flowing Wells Irrigation District on Tucson’s near northwest side is completing an arsenic removal system. The EPA has lowered acceptable arsenic levels from 50 to 10 parts per billion, which has put a number of water systems in violation of the law. The new limits have also served to highlight what is a recurring problem in the desert Southwest, where deep wells bring water up, along with whatever minerals have been leached along the way. Inside Tucson Business_ 7/28/06

Massachusetts begins first U.S. standards for perchlorate in public drinking water

The chemical can interfere with the production of thyroid hormones, which are needed for pre- and postnatal growth and development. State environmental officials said the new regulations which took effect Friday, require testing for perchlorate in all public water systems. Action would be required if the chemical turns up in quantities higher than two parts per billion. Perchlorate is a rocket fuel ingredient found in military munitions, fireworks and road flares. It was found in 2002 in the aquifer under the Massachusetts Military Reservation on Cape Cod, and has since been detected in 10 other drinking water sources in Massachusetts. AP/KCVB-TV 5_ 7/28/06

National Academy of Sciences study reports TCE water contamination can cause cancer

Growing scientific evidence suggests the most widespread industrial contaminant in drinking water a solvent used in adhesives, paint and spot removers can cause cancer in people. The National Academy of Sciences reported Thursday that a lot more is known about the cancer risks and other health hazards from exposure to trichloroethylene than there was five years ago when the Environmental Protection Agency took steps to regulate it more strictly. TCE, which is also widely used to remove grease from metal parts in airplanes and to clean fuel lines at missile sites, is known to cause cancer in some laboratory animals. EPA was blocked from elevating its assessment of the chemical's risks in people by the Defense Department, Energy Department and NASA, all of which have sites polluted with it. TCE is a colorless liquid that evaporates at room temperatures and has a somewhat sweet odor and taste. It is one of the most common pollutants found in the air, soil and water at U.S. military bases. Until the mid-1970s, it also was used as a surgical anesthetic. It also has been found at about 60 percent of the nation's worst contaminated sites in the Superfund cleanup program, the academy said. AP/ABC News_ 7/27/06

National Academy of Sciences report

Sayreville testing water for possible cancer-causing chemical

DuPont says it's not us
Sayreville authorities said they have requested tests of borough's drinking water for the presence of a possibly cancer-causing chemical used to make Teflon.  Borough technicians have sent water samples to a Colorado lab after a study by environmental and labor groups showed trace amounts of perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, in Sayreville's tap water and streams.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has classified PFOA as a "likely human carcinogen," although its effects on people are not clear. It has been found to cause cancer and impair development in rats.  PFOA is a processing aid used in cookware, textiles and food wrappings to make them resistant to stains, water and oil. DuPont spokeswoman Leslie Beckhoff said Tuesday it is used at the 102-year-old plant, which processes printing plates, Teflon finishes and electronic resins.  Beckhoff said DuPont has been testing for the chemical in and around its plant in the Middlesex County town of 40,000 people.  "Even if they've found trace amounts, it doesn't mean it came from our site," Beckhoff said.  The EPA fined DuPont $10.25 million last year for failing to report possible health risks linked to PFOA. Two years ago, the Delaware-based firm agreed to pay as much as $343 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that alleged water supplies in Ohio and West Virginia were contaminated with PFOA from a local DuPont plant. Newsday.com_7/25/06

Climate change experts predict drop in Lake Erie water levels
The newest update to a Lake Erie management plan predicts global warming will lead to a steep drop in water levels over the next 64 years, a change that could cause the lake's surface area to shrink by up to 15 percent.  The drop could undo years of shoreline abuse by allowing water to resume the natural coastal circulation that has become blocked by structures, experts said.

Updated annually, the plan is required by the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the United States and Canada. It is developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environment Canada and state and local governments with help from the shipping industry, sports-fishing operators, farm interests, academics and environmental organizations.  The newest update addresses for the first time, when, where and how the shoreline will be reshaped. It says the water temperature of Lake Erie has increased by one degree since 1988 and predicts the lake's level could fall about 34 inches. It also says the other Great Lakes will lose water.  If the projections are accurate, Lake Erie would be reduced by one-sixth by late this century, exposing nearly 2,200 square miles of land and creating marshes, prairies, beaches and forests, researchers said.  The Beacon Journal_7/23/06

Fish virus may be spreading

Scientists say a deadly fish virus detected in the northeastern United States in June in two species has probably spread to at least two other kinds of fish.  However, Cornell University researchers say they have yet to determine whether the virus is responsible for the recent deaths of hundreds of fish in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.  Cornell's Aquatic Animal Health Program has received about 300 fish samples during the past month for evaluation. The frozen samples are fish that have been dying since late May and early June in Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Last week, an estimated 1,000 dead fish washed ashore from Lake Ontario in just one morning.  Viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus, or VHSV, was detected for the first time in the northeastern United States in round gobies and muskellunge in June.  VHSV causes fatal anemia and hemorrhaging in many fish species, but poses no threat to humans or other animals.  UPI _ 7/20/06

EPA to infuse almost $1 billion into U.S. drinking water programs

States, territories and tribes will share more than $940 million from three EPA grant programs to support the quality and security of the nation's drinking water. The water supplies for more than 270 million people will benefit from the funding. More than $837 million will support Drinking Water State Revolving Funds programs, which help states, territories and tribes finance infrastructure improvements to public water systems. Since the program began in 1997, public water systems have received more than $9 billion in low-interest loans. Concurrently, the agency has proposed allotting $841,500,000 in the proposed FY 2007 budget. Press Release_ 7/5/06

Lack of clean drinking water on Alberta Native American reserves raises ire
Contaminated drinking water on Alberta reserves is to blame for sickness and possibly even deaths, a federal review panel was told Thursday.  A water supply official for the Saddle Lake First Nation, one of Canada's largest reserves with more than 7,000 residents, gave a grim outline of foul water and sick residents during his presentation to the expert panel.  “We've got death at the tap,” said Tony Stienhaurer, who says the reserve has also been under a boil water order since 2004. “We've got a high incidence rate of cancers, diabetes and young children that are born with cancer. Water has done an enormous disaster in Saddle Lake.”

The reserve is now using a temporary water filtration system that provides some residents with drinking water, but many people don't have cars and have to walk several kilometres to retrieve the water, he said.  Globeandmail.com_7/6/06

EPA fines Nogales, Ariz. for Safe Drinking Water violations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently resolved the city of Nogales's long-standing drinking water violations regarding its failure to comply with a March 2004 EPA administrative order requiring submittal of drinking water monitoring and reporting data.  The city of Nogales will pay a $5,500 fine and spend at least $50,000 to repair or replace sewer lines in an area of Nogales commonly referred to as the "old city," where sewer lines have degraded and are leaking wastewater into the surrounding soil and possibly into groundwater supplies.  The city failed to meet a March EPA 2005 deadline requiring the municipality to monitor and report chemicals detected in its drinking water. The EPA uses the data to evaluate the need for new drinking water standards under the Safe Drinking Water Act.  Newsblaze_7/6/06

La Union, New Mexico one of 4,000 U.S. water providers with arsenic levels too high for safety standards

The arsenic naturally occurs in the water, but arsenic is a suspected carcinogenic. Arsenic levels in water provided by the small La Union Mutual Domestic was association in southern New Mexico are two-and-a-half times greater than limits allowed by federal standards. A new federal rule this year lowered the amount of arsenic allowed. Some four-thousand water providers like La Union Mutual Domestic water association are scrambling for ways to comply. AP/KTSM_ 7/3/06

 

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