Environmental group: Contaminants in Indianapolis drinking water pose health risk

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - A new report released Wednesday is putting Indianapolis drinking water under scrutiny.

In their report, The Environmental Working Group says harmful contaminants, some which can cause cancer, were detected at levels that exceed health guidelines.

However to be clear, none of the contaminants that the report listed exceeded legal limits set by the Safe Drinking Water Act, the standard to which the government holds drinking water .

The EWG report details the collection of water tests from more than 48,000 facilities across the United States from the years 2010 to 2015.

When it comes to Indianapolis, the report says water provided by Citizens Energy Group (the Indianapolis provider) contains levels of at least 9 different cancer causing contaminants such as Arsenic, Chloroform, and Atrazine in levels that exceed health guidelines.

The list of contaminants the report identifies as potentially cancer causing is as follows:

  • Arsenic
  • Atrazine
  • Bromodichloromethane
  • Chlorate
  • Chloroform
  • Chromium
  • Dibromodichloromethane
  • TTHMS

Despite the report, Citizen’s Energy Group remains firm that the water the provide the city is safe and any contaminants found are well below federal standards.

“All that data does is indicate that we’re meeting all the federal requirements for drinking water quality. There are always areas that we try to work on and improve and make further improvements on,” director of water quality system control Dan Moran said.

Moran says many of the chemical listed in EWG report are by-products of chemicals used to clean the water, or the result of agricultural run-off.

“I would like to emphasize that the water quality of the drinking water here in Indianapolis is completely safe,” he said.

Libby Davis, a chemistry professor at Butler, says while the report doesn’t list anything in Indianapolis water that is a cause for concern, it does raise the important question of whether current federal standards for drinking water are in line with the health of the people that are drinking it.

If anything, she says the report should serve as a reminder to reevaluate standards on a regular basis.

“Our ability to detect things at lower levels and to understand more subtle low dose effects in experimental animals and humans is always changing and evolving. And it’s a challenge if the standards aren’t evolving with that understanding. “Davis said.

For a complete look at the EWG drinking water report and database you can visit: https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/#.WXkX6YTyvIU