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City Assures Public That Water Is Safe

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(Credit: CBS)

CBS Chicago (con't)

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CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) – In the wake of a report on a cancer-causing metal in the City’s tap water, the Daley Administration is assuring the public the drinking water is safe.

WBBM Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the Environmental Working Group says it found the toxic chemical hexavalent chromium, also called “chromium-6,” at a concentration of 0.18 parts per billion in the Lake Michigan water that goes to Chicago and the suburbs.

That is three times a safety limit currently proposed by legislators in the state of California.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports

But city Department of Water Management Commissioner Tom Powers says the water does meet existing standards, and is safe.

“It meets or exceeds all the standards of testing and quality established by both the U.S. and the Illinois EPA agencies. So, we are mandated to test for total chromium, and our total chromium amounts that we are seeing in the water is far below those standards.”

As his staff reviews the findings, Powers has admitted there is currently no test required for the metal.

“If they require us to test for Chromium-6, then we are ready to make whatever changes necessary,” Powers said in an earlier interview.

Researchers believe the metal may enter the Lake Michigan water source from discharge at nearby steel mills in Indiana.

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