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Trace levels of chromium detected at well serving Laupahoehoe

The state Health Department says trace amounts of chromium have for the first time been detected in water samples collected at the Laupahoehoe P-2 Well.

The well is part of the Hawaii County Department of Water Supply’s Laupahoehoe-Kapehu system, which serves the Laupahoehoe area of Hawaii island.

Chromium was detected in samples collected on March 4 and April 15, and the health department was notified of the initial detection on May 2, according to a news release.

The detected chromium levels ranged from 1.4 to 2.42 parts per billion, and were below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state Maximum Contaminant Level for chromium, which is at 100 parts per billion.

“To date, the Laupahoehoe-Kapehu water system is and continues to be in compliance with federal and state chromium standards for drinking water,” said the health department in the release.

Officials said the presence of chromium in the sample is attributed to discharge from steel and pulp mills and possibly the erosion of natural deposits.

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