Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities announced that results published in the 2020 drinking water quality report demonstrate excellent water quality throughout Los Alamos County. Covering the period of January through December 2020, the report highlights the county’s 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 printed copy at their place of residence or business through the U.S. Postal Service by the first week of July. Customers may view and download a pdf version of the report on the department’s website at https://ladpu.com/dpu under Top Features.
With cooperation from Los Alamos National Laboratory, the DPU tested for perfluoralkyl and polyfluoralkyl (PFAS) levels in the drinking water this past year. 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. PFAS levels in the Los Alamos drinking water range from 0.568 to 0.725 parts per trillion (ppt), well below EPA’s health advisory level. More information about PFAS is available at https://www.epa.gov/pfas
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). Not surprisingly, levels of PFAS are low 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.
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 held virtually and can be streamed https://ladpu.com/BPULiveProceedings.
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.