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Report: Norman Water Tests High For Cancer Causing Chemicals

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An environmental group released a report Monday stating they found high levels of Chromium 6 in Norman's tap water. An environmental group released a report Monday stating they found high levels of Chromium 6 in Norman's tap water.
Norman city officials said residents should not worry because the levels are below EPA and DEQ limits and is safe to drink. Norman city officials said residents should not worry because the levels are below EPA and DEQ limits and is safe to drink.

News9.com

OKLAHOMA CITY -- An environmental group claimed it has found high levels of hexavalent chromium, a probable carcinogen, in Norman's water.

Hexavalent Chromium, also more commonly known as Chromium 6, is the same chemical that was made famous in the movie "Erin Brockovich." Scientists said it has been linked to cancer in lab animals.

The Environment Working Group, a liberal watchdog group, tested water in 35 cities and reported the City of Norman had the highest Chromium 6 level in the nation.

Norman city officials became aware of the study over the weekend, but Ken Komiske, Norman's Director of Utilities, said residents do not need to worry about the safety of the city's water supply.

Learn more on Norman's website

"The water is safe to drink," said Komiske. "Norman is in compliance with the total chromium standards by the EPA and falls well below the level of concern. We test for total chromium at all our wells, and we were far below the limits set by EPA and DEQ."

However, Komiske admitted the city does not test for Chromium 6 specifically because it is not required.

"The chromium that we have, the total chromium we test is ground water so it's naturally occurring. It wasn't a deposit. It's not a plume of poison that some industry put in the ground. It's in the aquifer. Our aquifer is the Garber-Wellington Aquifer, so it goes from Edmond through Del City and Moore and Midwest City and Norman and Purcell," Komiske said.

Komiske said if the need is determined, the city would run the groundwater through the water treatment plant, but that would require and expensive expansion of the plant.

Read the full report on Chromium 6 in U.S. tap water.

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