Officials say Lubbock water is safe as EPA proposes drinking standard
EPA proposes federal limits for six chemical compounds known as PFAS
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Lubbock water officials say the city’s tap water is safe to drink as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes federal limits for six chemical compounds known as PFAS.
The Director of Water Utilities for the City of Lubbock, Aubrey Spear, says the history behind its proposal goes back years as the chemicals have been deemed a danger to human health.
These PFAS have been found at air force bases like Reese Center, and in groundwater. Spear says Lubbockites don’t need to worry though because Lubbock’s water supply comes from areas that aren’t very urbanized, like Lake Alan Henry.
“So all the water that comes in, there’s not any industries and industrial users that would have the PFAS that would get into our lake, and we would pump it up here and use it,” Spear said.
He says the groundwater pumped for Lubbock’s public water system also comes from more remote areas like the Bailey County Well Field.
“The likelihood of us having anything that’s detectable in our system is pretty low,” Spear said.
Spear adds it’s just now possible to check for these chemicals at such small levels.
“Our technology has advanced such that even in the last just five years we can detect a lot more than we used to be able to detect,” Spear said.
Spear says the city of Lubbock has started checking for these forever chemicals.
“So that we can get a baseline and understand whether or not we have any detection,” Spear said.
The EPA reports these chemicals can cause cancer if people are exposed to them for a long period of time.
“If there are some compounds out there that are a concern to the public, then we’re going to start measuring those or monitoring for those in our system to make sure that the water is safe to drink,” Spear said.
At the time of Spear’s interview with KCBD, he did not have any results from those tests on hand yet. He says it’s unlikely these chemicals will be detected in Lubbock water.
The EPA is asking for input on the proposal and will release its final decision later this year. You can give your opinions by clicking here.
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