A Message From The Executive Director Regarding Hexavalent Chromium (Cr+6)

Recent news reports have brought hexavalent chromium to the forefront of many public water consumers.  Hexavalent chromium, also referred to as Chromium Hex-6, is currently not a regulated contaminant by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), although they have been reviewing health effects since 2008.

In 2015, all U.S. public water suppliers were required to monitor Chromium Hex-6 for four consecutive quarters.  Currently, only the state of California has a maximum contaminant level set for Chromium Hex-6, at 10 parts per billion (ppb) and a maximum contaminant goal of 0.02 ppb.

The news articles that appeared compared all the sampling in the United States against California’s maximum contaminant goal of 0.02 ppb, instead of their actual maximum contaminant level of 10 ppb.  The results from Hampton Shaler Water Authority’s sampling of Chromium Hex-6 is as follows:

  • HSWA’s treatment plant clear wells (89.9% of all water in HSWA system) had a range of 0.0 to 0.1 ppb, with an average of 0.04 ppb.
  • West View Water Authority (9.9% of water in our system) had a range of 0.054 ppb to 0.13 ppb, with an average of 0.09 ppb.
  • City of Pittsburgh Water (0.3% of water in our system) had a range of 0.12 ppb to 0.87 ppb, with an average of 0.45 ppb.

As you can see from these results, although they are slightly more than California’s maximum contaminant level goal of 0.02 ppb, they are well below the current California standard of 10 ppb.

For more information about chromium in general and hexavalent chromium, specifically, click this link from American Water Water Association.