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Hollister officials are set to consider hiring a company to isolate where excess chromium in the water system is causing levels deemed unsafe by the state.
Council members Monday will consider spending up to $30,000 to hire BESST for an examination of Well No. 4 maintained by the city. Officials hope to “quantify the source” of chromium causing the supply to exceed a state standard established in July of last year.
Council members will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Hollister City Hall, 375 Fifth St.
A local water official late last year warned Hollister council members that a new state regulation regarding hexavalent chromium could require costly upgrades.
Harry Blohm, project manager for the Hollister Urban Area Water Project, has been warning Hollister council members about the state’s newly created drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium, or chromium-6. The new standard is at 10 micrograms per liter as a maximum contaminant level. Blohm in December noted that Hollister’s wells ranged from 14 to nearly 20 milligrams per liter.
The new state regulations went into effect for local communities July 1. The Association of California Water Agencies called it the first drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium. Assemblyman Luis Alejo has co-authored a bill proposing to establish clear timelines for communities to respond to the new requirement.
Currently, the EPA warns of excess chromium’s potential to cause allergic dermatitis, but there is a review under way examining a possible carcinogenic link, according to the EPA.
To decrease the city’s chromium level, Blohm in December suggested Hollister might have to consider buying an ion exchange system, reexamine wells and try to pinpoint contaminated aquifers, or drill new wells.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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