Madison Water Utility schedules tests for chromium-6 - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Madison Water Utility schedules tests for chromium-6

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Madison Water Utility has scheduled a round of specialized tests to see if a potentially cancer-causing metal is in city tap water, officials told 27 News.

Tests for chromium-6, or hexavalent chromium, will be conducted on January 4th in conjunction with the State Lab of Hygiene, 27 News reported.

The water utility - like most across the country - has never tested for chromium-6, General Manager Tom Heikkinen said in an interview Monday.

This week, the Environmental Working Group released a study showing a sample of Madison tap water had relatively high levels of hexavalent chromium. Of 35 cities tested, Madison ranked fourth on the list.

The Environmental Protection Agency has labeled the metal a "probable carcinogen," but there are no national standards for the pollutant. Water utilities are not required to test for chromium-6.

"Madison's drinking water meets or exceeds all current standards mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and we have never had a drinking water violation," Heikkinen said in a written statement Monday.

"Our water is routinely tested for nearly 200 chemical substances. The amount of testing performed by Madison as part of its water quality monitoring exceeds the regulatory requirements established by the EPA and the Wisconsin DNR."

The concentration of chromium-6 that may be harmful to humans is still unclear, Dr. Rebecca Sutton of the Environmental Working Group told 27 News in an interview.

"Right now we have no information to believe there is any risk what-so-ever to human health for drinking water in Madison," said Heikkinen.

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