Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities announced Tuesday that results published in the 2019 drinking water quality report demonstrate excellent water quality throughout Los Alamos County. The report covers the period of January through December 2019 and highlights the department’s commitment to providing drinking water that is better than standards required by the state and federal agencies.
The water quality report details drinking water source information, how the county’s water is protected and test results, including all substances and levels of substances detected in the water. Los Alamos County customers should receive a copy at their place of residence or business through the U.S. Postal Service the first week of July or may download a copy on the department’s website at https://ladpu.com/dpu under Top Features.
Recently, through cooperation with the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the department has begun initial testing for perfluoralkyl and polyfluoralkyl (PFAS) levels in the drinking water. While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the rule making process of setting a maximum contaminant level (MCL), it has established health advisory levels at 70 parts per trillion.
According to the EPA’s website on Basic Information on PFAS,
“Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. PFAS have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the United States since the 1940s. PFOA and PFOS have been the most extensively produced and studied of these chemicals. Both chemicals are very persistent in the environment and in the human body – meaning they don’t break down and they can accumulate over time. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects.”
When PFAS are found in drinking water it is typically localized and associated with a specific facility (e.g., manufacturer, landfill, wastewater treatment plant, firefighter training facility). The DPU does not anticipate finding levels of PFAS above the health advisory levels as the county’s ground water supply is pumped from hundreds to thousands of feet underground away from any sources that might release such chemicals. Test results are expected to be received later this year. This information will be release to the public and will be included in the 2020 drinking water quality report.
The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) operates the county-owned electric, gas, water & wastewater systems and the Los Alamos County Customer Care Center under the jurisdiction of the Board of Public Utilities. Board meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency BPU meetings are being held virtually and can be streamed https://ladpu.com/BPULiveProceedings. Citizens who would like to provide public comment may do so by submitting an email to BPU@lacnm.us with PUBLIC COMMENT written in the subject line.
Funded by rates paid for electric, gas, water and wastewater services and auxiliary fees, the DPU has provided the community with these services for more than 50 years. CustomerCare@lacnm.us | 505.662.8333 | https://ladpu.com/dpu.