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Assessment of Total Chromium in Illinois Community Water Supplies

In response to the Environmental Working Group’s recent report on the presence of chromium-6 in drinking water, U.S. EPA will work with state and local officials to better determine how wide- spread and prevalent this contaminant is. When U.S. EPA finishes their guidance and approved sample method for chromium-6, it will be used to develop a network to scientifically assess the prevalence of chromium-6 in source water (surface and groundwater), drinking water, and public water supply distribution systems. This information will help to prioritize U.S. EPA’s technical assistance and guidance. Moreover, it will also assist U.S. EPA with the question of prevalence and need to establish a drinking water standard.

Illinois EPA believes that it is very important that we start with a sound understanding and assessment of what we know relative to total chromium in Illinois ground and surface water (including Lake Michigan) used as a source of public water supply. To that end, Illinois EPA has developed a Chromium-6 Strategic Plan. The results of the statistically designed network to sample for Chromium-6 and total Chromium can be found in Hexavalent and Total Chromium at Low Reporting Concentrations in Source-Water Aquifers and Surface Waters Used for Public Supply in Illinois, 2013. The Illinois EPA has also prepared a fact sheet entitled “ Assessment of Total Chromium in Illinois Community Water Supplies” which references data for drinking water quality for total chromium, as well as source water quality for total chromium from surface water and groundwater sources.

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