City Of Mustang Cited For High Levels Of Arsenic In Drinking Water

Monday, July 28th 2014, 7:02 pm
By: News 9

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) said the city of Mustang has arsenic levels above drinking water standards. Those violations happened from October of 2012 to March of 2014.

The City of Mustang has shut down water wells that produce the highest amount of arsenic to fix the problem.

“What is the definition of arsenic? It’s poison. It's terrible,” said David Wood, who is concerned about the notice.

More than 10,000 Mustang water customers got a notice recently from the city, explaining the arsenic levels in the drinking water exceeded the standard.

“Anyone in their right mind would be concerned. I think we need to let the public know,” added Wood.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some people who drink water containing arsenic in excess of acceptable levels over many years could experience skin damage or problems with their circulatory system. They may also have an increased risk of danger.

“Arsenic is a very scary word and I understand that,” said Mustang City Manager Tim Rooney.

Rooney said the DEQ testing results showed arsenic levels of 14 parts per billion, 14 ppb and 11 ppb during three 12-month time periods. Those levels were once acceptable, but the EPA changed the standards in 2006 from 50 ppb to 10 ppb for arsenic levels.

“Our amounts are not high. They are barely above what is considered the notification limits,” explained Rooney.

Mustang uses mostly well water and purchases some water from Oklahoma City. The arsenic problem is happening in the well water, so the city is buying more water from OKC to dilute the arsenic levels down to acceptable limits.

Rooney said the city’s water supply is now in compliance and crews are taking readings every day to stay on top of the situation.

Rooney said the city is considering buying an arsenic removal system that removes the arsenic at the well site, rather than continue buying extra water from Oklahoma City.

The next round of DEQ testing for Mustang's water supply will take place between now and September 30th.