State health officials have begun to mail letters to well owners who previously received “do not drink” advisories for hexavalent chromium and vanadium informing them that those recommendations have been withdrawn and that their water is as safe to drink as most cities and towns across the state and country. Lifting the “do not drink” recommendations for these wells means owners may return to drinking their water and using it for cooking and other purposes.
The updated recommendations are the result of extensive study of how the federal government and other states manage these elements in drinking water.
“The state took a very cautious approach when issuing the initial health risk evaluations,” said State Health Director Randall Williams MD.
The initial risk evaluations were based on studies of a potential one in a million risk of cancer for an average person as a result of consuming well water daily for more than 70 years.
“After further studying the issue, and learning how other cities and states handle these elements in drinking water, we believe this water is consistent with other public and well water throughout the United States and North Carolina that is either regulated or recommended to be safe,” Williams said.
The water deemed safe in these wells is just as safe as the majority of public water supplies in the country. All public water systems are required to meet or exceed federal standards for safe drinking water.