CBS 5 Investigation sparks drinking water debate - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

CBS 5 Investigation sparks drinking water debate

Homeowners across the Valley want answers after watching a CBS 5 investigation that exposed a potentially harmful chemical in drinking water.

The chemical is called hexavalent chromium or chromium-6.

Michelle Cavalier of Mesa said that hearing there may be something hazardous in her tap water is a little scary.

"Water is the major beverage in our house," said Cavalier. "We drink it more than anything else. That's concerning to me as a mom and a wife."

However, the East Valley mom felt better after learning that the reverse osmosis system she has in her kitchen filters out potentially harmful chemicals like hexavalent chromium.

"It's very much peace of mind," said Cavalier. "It's something simple to do and doesn't take a lot of work."

Andi Pettyjohn with Water Treatment Technologies said that reverse osmosis systems are the best way to eliminate most of the hexavalent chromium from your tap water, no matter what city you live in.

According to Pettyjohn, a properly maintained system will remove around 94 percent of the hexavalent chromium from your drinking water.

"Good water goes in one direction," said Pettyjohn. "The waste dissolved solids in water, like chemicals, sediment, and gases goes out the other."

Reverse osmosis systems run between $200 and $1,000.

There is also one for sale at Costco for $159 and for $118.

David Perry is director of Arizona's Water Quality Association.

He said that distillation systems can also filter out hexavalent chromium but are often bigger and more expensive.

Carbon filters in your fridge are not designed to filter out chemicals, Perry said.

"They're mostly for aesthetic purposes and for taste purposes," said Perry. "By pulling out chlorine, the water would tend to taste better and smell better."

Consumers can also rent a reverse osmosis system for around $30 a month.

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