BRONXVILLE, NY — When water flows out of the faucet and into a glass, it usually appears clean and healthy. A report released Wednesday, though, found hundreds of harmful contaminants across the American water supply that can cause cancer, developmental issues in children, problems in pregnancy and other serious health conditions.
In the communities served by SUEZ, formerly United Water, nine contaminants above health guidelines were detected across the district’s water supply, according to data from the Environmental Working Group that was released on Wednesday. SUEZ serves almost 300,000 people in Rockland and Westchester counties.
EWG notes, however, that tap water provided by this water utility was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards in the latest quarter address by the Environmental Protection Agency, which was from January to March 2017.
From 2010 to 2015, EWG collected results of tests conducted by the water utility, which was provided to them by the New York Department of Health-Bureau of Public Water Supply Protection, as well as information from the U.S. EPA Enforcement and Compliance History database.
The following contaminants were detected above health limits in communities served by SUEZ:
- Chromium (hexavalent)
- Dichloroacetic acid
- Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene)
- Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)
- Trichloroacetic acid
Long Island Water Conference Legislative Committee Co-Chair Paul Granger did not agree with this study. “This report is nothing more than a fear mongering scare tactic for the sole purpose of selling unnecessary water filters,” he said.
Read Granger’s full statement below:
“The premise of this report is patently false and the information portrayed is extremely misleading. This report is nothing more than a fear mongering scare tactic for the sole purpose of selling unnecessary water filters. The water being delivered to our customers is meticulously regulated by federal, state and local authorities on a weekly basis. Under no circumstances would water containing harmful levels of these chemicals, or any other chemical for that matter, come out of our treatment plants and be sent to the public. In fact, water providers publicly release information about their water quality on an annual basis. The authors of this report should be ashamed of themselves for purposely broadcasting misinformation about the safety of drinking water to the public for the sake of selling water filters.”
“There are chemicals that have been linked to cancer, for example, that are found above health-based limits, or health guidelines, in the water of more than 250 million Americans,” said Nneka Leiba, director of Healthy Living Science at EWG.
In New York, EWG tracked 140 contaminants across the state’s water supply. The following contaminants have been detected above health limits in New York (contaminants in bold have been linked to cancer):