Report Claims Syracuse Has Unsafe Drinking Water, City Officials Disagree

Syracuse, NY – Chromium-6 is perhaps best known as the cancer-causing agent Julia Roberts' character fights to rid from a California community in the movie Erin Brockovich.

A new study, from the Environmental Working Group, tested the tap water in 35 American cities to find the level of chromium-6 in parts per billion (ppb). Syracuse was one of 25 cities the EWG found to have a level of more than .06 parts per billion of chromium-6, which the group considered the safe level. The level in Syracuse was 0.12 parts per billion.

Syracuse Water Commissioner, Deborah Somers says the city still falls within national legal limits.

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a legal limit of 100 parts per billion," she says, "California's legal limit is 50 parts per billion in 2009, we were at 1.8 parts per billion."

Somers says she's been in contact with the Onondaga County Health Department about the EWG report, but she says she doesn't think there are any problems with Syracuse's tap water.

Syracuse University professor, Charles Driscoll agrees with Somers, that the level of chromium-6 in Syracuse's drinking water falls well below the limits set by the EPA and is not likely a cause for great concern right away, but says it might be worthwhile to follow up on it.

"Based on [EPA] criteria, our water is safe to drink, but there is always research that's going on," he says.

Read the full report here: