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Chromium-6 Found In Evanston Water

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(Credit: CBS)

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EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) – Reports have already in December revealed that Chicago water has traces of the toxic metal hexavalent chromium, and it turns out the water in Evanston has it too – and actually a little bit more of it.

TribLocal reported that the concentration of the metal, also called chromium-6, is 0.27 parts per billion. Evanston has tested annually for chromium in the water since 1979, but only detects the metal in concentrations greater than 5 parts per billion, TribLocal reported.

The U.S. and Illinois environmental protection agencies set a maximum contaminant level at 100 parts per billion for chromium, TribLocal reported.

In Chicago, the independent Environmental Working Group found 0.18 parts per billion in the tap water. That is three times a safety limit currently proposed by legislators in the state of California.

City Department of Water Management Commissioner Tom Powers said the water does meet existing standards, and is safe, immediately after the revelation.

But as his staff reviews the findings, Powers has admitted there is currently no test required for the metal. Last week, the city announced that tests would begin for chromium-6.

The chromium-6 in the Chicago water supply is also believed to have originated at Indiana steel mills. Chromium-6 is carcinogenic.

While the City of Chicago supplies water to many suburbs, Evanston has its own water treatment plant. It supplies water to Evanston, as well as Skokie, Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine and Wheeling, TribLocal reported.

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