did it get there? The city recently released its annual consumer
confidence report, which briefly lists the sources of Surf City's
drinking water and contaminants that were detected in 2003.
Trace levels of carcinogens such as arsenic, radon and
trihalomethanes are present in the city's tap water, but at levels
that pose no danger to the public, local regulators say.
And with rigorous testing regulated by the Environmental
Protection Agency and the Department of Health Services, officials
maintain unbending confidence in the system's integrity.
WHAT'S IN THE WATER
Huntington Beach's water supply is routinely monitored for the
presence of drinking water contaminants.
Water regulators are required to test for 130 contaminants on a
regular basis to comply with state and federal standards. Wells are
sampled four times a year for radioactivity, trace metals, general
minerals, synthetic organic compounds -- such as herbicides,
pesticides and other man-made chemicals -- and volatile organic
compounds -- such as Trichloroethylene, a degreaser. They are also
sampled for gasoline-related constituents, such as methyl tertiary
butyl ether, a gasoline additive.
Samples are also collected from wells to test for seawater
intrusion and evaluate bacterial quality and aesthetics, such as
taste, color and odor.
Trace metals present in Huntington Beach's drinking water include
arsenic, fluoride and copper; and general minerals such as calcium,
sodium, chloride, bicarbonate and magnesium.
Arsenic is a heavy metal that's found in the earth and can enter
the water from natural deposits or from industrial or agricultural
pollution. While long-term exposure to high levels of arsenic has
been linked to bladder, lung and skin cancer, the levels found in
Surf City waters pose very little health threat, said Jim Corbett, a
water quality technician with the city.
The maximum contaminant level for arsenic is 50 parts per billion
and the highest amount detected in Surf City waters in 2003 was three
parts per billion.
"Drinking water regulations are so stringent," Corbett said. "No