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Local News

City Addresses Water Issue


The City of Bend is continuing to work with experts to make sure that all drinking water in Bend is safe. That word comes today from City officials who were guests on KBND’s "Your Town" this morning.  Back in December a Washington D.C. environmental group released a report of drinking water tests throughout the country. There was a test taken in Bend on the Avion Water system; and according to the Environmental Working Group,  the water showed point 78 parts per billion of a cancer causing chemical. The dangers of high levels of chromium 6 were made famous in the Erin Brockovich movie. Today on your town, an EWG spokesman called the study just a snapshot and assured local residents that the water is safe. “Folks that there are relatively low doses in their water and there are. And the first thing I would like to tell your listeners is that we encourage folks in Bend to drink their water. This is not a cause for immediate concern. But long term exposure to chemicals like hexavalant chromium, which is a known carcinogen, a long exposure over time at low doses could have fairly serious health problems down the road for folks.”  EWG Alex Formuses describes the his organization as a non-profit research and lobbying group. Meantime,  the City of Bend questions how the test was done; how the information was presented and the motives of the group. City Manager Eric King: “This group obviously had an agenda with the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] and I think they went about it the wrong way. This is not a productive way to make a point; is to unnecessarily raise everybody’s anxiety level and to really conduct what I think is a snapshot. It’s not a study. There wasn’t a scientific methodology that was backing these results. And so I think that the water customers of Bend need to know that. That they’re water is safe.” The EWG wanted to get the EPA to establish a legal level for chromium 6 more aggressive. Formuses says now that they've attracted the attention of the EPA, the group is not taking any further steps.


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