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Elkhorn officials respond to high Arsenic levels in water

Posted at 10:23 PM, Feb 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-04 23:23:29-05

Elkhorn City officials responded to residents concerns Monday over high levels of Arsenic found in the city's water back in October.

In a recent letter to residents Elkhorn Waterworks said testing found levels above 10 parts per million, a violation of state and federal Safe Drinking Water Standards. The Mayor and Common Council members said they had received calls from constituents expressing concern.

Monday night at the regularly scheduled Common Council meeting, the city engineer was asked to address the issue.

"I can assure you there was no harm to the public at any time," Doug Snyder said

Snyder says the water was coming from a new treatment facility that was still in the testing stages. City Administrator Sam Tapson said the facility was 1 of 3 pumping water to homes, and it is unlikely the water over the federal standard actually made it to homes.

"It is a blended system as we were doing this, so the full concentration if you will wasn’t reaching the tap because of those 3 other wells that were contributing to the distribution system," said Tapson.

A recent January test of the water showed Arsenic levels of 7.2 parts per million, below the federal standard. Tapson says officials from the city will continue to look at ways to treat the water, and meet with officials from the DNR in the coming weeks. The notice was sent to residents because of changing regulations following the Flint, Michigan water crisis.

Arsenic is a naturally occurring element that has been linked to cancer and other health problems.