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Drinking Water Contaminants- Chromium


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What happens to Chromium when it is released to the environment?

When released to land, chromium compounds bind to soil are not likely to migrate to ground water. They are very persistent in water as sediments. There is a high potential for accumulation of chromium in aquatic life.

How will Chromium be detected in and removed from my drinking water?

The regulation for chromium became effective in 1992. Between 1993 and 1995, EPA required your water supplier to collect water samples once and analyze them to find out if chromium is present above 0.1 ppm. If it is present above this level, the system must continue to monitor this contaminant every 3 months.

If contaminant levels are found to be consistently above the MCL, your water supplier must take steps to reduce the amount of chromium so that it is consistently below that level. The following treatment methods have been approved by EPA for removing chromium: Coagulation/Filtration, Ion Exchange, Reverse Osmosis, Lime Softening.

How will I know if Chromium is in my drinking water?

If the levels of chromium exceed the MCL, the system must notify the public via newspapers, radio, TV and other means. Additional actions, such as providing alternative drinking water supplies, may be required to prevent serious risks to public health.

This is a factsheet about a chemical that may be found in some public or

private drinking water supplies. It may cause health problems if found in amounts greater than the health standard set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Drinking Water Standards:

MCLG: 0.1 ppm

MCL: 0.1 ppm

Chromium Releases to Water and Land, 1987 to 1993 (in pounds):

  Water Land
TOTALS 2,876,055 196,880,624

Top Ten States *
TX 102,079 64,301,920
NC 43,522 55,217,044
IN 85,570 15,955,895
OH 51,830 8,319,600
UT 1,750 5,817,015
AR 2,300 3,532,000
KY 255 2,491,519
PA 110,149 2,337,905
GA 679,721 1,404,698
ID 91,750 1,404,870

Major Industries*
Indust. organics 3,272 120,707,814
Steelworks, Blast furn. 609,174 16,638,880
Electrometallurgy 33,269 10,796,928
Copper smelting, refining 1,750 5,817,015
Nonferrous smelting 2,300 3,532,000
Inorganic pigments 88,721 1,375,700
Pulp mills 985,800 224,198

As part of the Drinking Water and Health pages, this fact sheet is part of a larger U.S. EPA publication:
EPA National Primary Drinking Water Regulations

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