Non-profit releases report on Amarillo water

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AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Questions about Amarillo’s drinking water have surfaced after a recent report published by the Environmental Working Group.

The report states that it found 13 contaminants in Amarillo above what they call health guidelines, but those contaminants are not a reason to stop drinking the tap water here.

“Drinking water in Amarillo is very safe, has been safe, and will be safe,” said Floyd Hartman, assistant city manager for development services.

While the EWG’s recent report finds 13 contaminants to be above their health guidelines, it also states the Amarillo Municipal Water System complied with health-based drinking water standards, and it did on both state and federal levels.

“We go through extreme efforts to monitor, test, and make sure that on a daily basis, hourly basis, monthly basis, weekly basis. There are many many tests that we go through,” said Hartman.

The reason the EWG flags 13 contaminants and our local system does not is because the EWG has a different set of standards than federal and state agencies.

“One of the biggest differences is that we take a purely health-based evaluation in water. So, from a health perspective, what is a safe level of exposure,” said EWG Scientists David Andrews.

The EWG sets their guidelines on different health goals set by scientists in California.

“Really aiming to educate consumers and provide something that goes beyond what they get in their water quality reports from the utilities,” said Andrews.

Today, Hartman explained Amarillo is above the board when it comes to water quality regulations.

“We have one of the best lab systems in the panhandle, and one of the best in the state, for testing and identifying water concerns,” said Hartman.

Hartman added anyone is welcome to call that lab and speak with one of the technicians about any concern they may have, whether it be health-related or not.

In response to this report published, he said he hopes if the organization is truly concerned about all of these extra contaminants, they reach out to the EPA and report their findings.

Click here for the annual water quality reports from the City of Amarillo.

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