Nebraska Towns Chosen for Arsenic Testing Program

July 9, 2004

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected two Nebraska towns, Lyman and Stromsburg, to serve as demonstration sites for arsenic reduction technologies in drinking water, the Lincoln Star Journal reported.

EPA has agreed to finance the cost of the demonstration system, while the city will be paying for personnel and maintenance costs.

The Agency has established a program of grants for public water systems to assist small communities to comply with the new arsenic standard of 10 ppb, which is scheduled to take effect in January 2006. Part of the program involves full-scale demonstrations of commercially available treatment technologies at selected water systems throughout the country. Lyman and Stromsburg have been selected for this program.

Arsenic is a naturally occurring element found in groundwater. It has been linked to certain types of cancer, birth defects and other medical problems. Health officials say long-term exposure poses a significant health risk to the public.

Stromsburg and Lyman are among 75 small public water systems in Nebraska with arsenic problems. The Health and Human Services System estimated it will cost more than $120 million to bring high levels of arsenic in those communities down to safe limits, the Lincoln Star Journal reported.

The technical and economic data gathered from the demonstration projects will be used to help small communities across the country select technologies to meet the new arsenic standard, EPA officials said.

Source: Lincoln Journal Star

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