Test Results on Monongahela River Show No Major Threat to Human Health From High Level Metal Contamination

PA-DEP Press Release
24 October 2008

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct 24, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ --

Testing Data Now Available on DEP Web Site

The results of ongoing water testing by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in the Monongahela River show no indication of high levels of contaminants, including metals, that would be considered a major threat to human health.

Test results did show high levels of total dissolved solids, which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies as "secondary contaminants," including carbonates, chlorides, sulfates, nitrates, sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium.

These secondary contaminants can affect the taste and odor of water.

Customers of public water supplies that draw raw water from the Monongahela River in the affected area who have concerns about the quality of water may wish to use bottled water for cooking and drinking until the levels of total dissolved solids fall below the standard of 500 milligrams per liter.

Testing between the West Virginia border and the confluence with the Youghiogheny showed total dissolved solid levels between 500 and 908 milligrams per liter.

For recent test results visit www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on the southwest region of the map under "In Your Neighborhood." link.

The EPA guidelines for secondary contaminants can be found at www.epa.gov/safewater/consumer/2ndstandards.html.

The effect of supplemental water releases from Tygart Lake and Stonewall Jackson Lake into the Monongahela River, which started Thursday, will not be apparent for several days.

CONTACT: Teresa Candori, (717) 319-9660; Source: PA-DEP.