South Jordan officials say tests of the city’s water supply by an independent laboratory came up clean following several residents’ complaints of contamination by chromium-6, a metallic element that in excessive amounts can cause skin burns and more serious diseases.
Despite the lab’s clean bill of health, officials in the southwest Salt Lake County city say they are taking the complaints, including skin problems, seriously and on Tuesday were collecting additional samples for testing.
“Some have commented on rashes after coming in contact with the water and some have felt burning while using the shower,” city spokeswoman Rachael Van Cleave told The Tribune.
Four people — two of them residents of Daybreak, one just outside and one in another area of the city — have made official complaints by contacting the city. Others have raised concerns and questions on Facebook.
“Our residents’ safety is a top priority in South Jordan City and within 24 hours we got results from an independent lab that showed ‘nondetectable’ amounts of chromium-6,” Van Cleave said in a written statement.
The Daybreak resident who complained had tested the water with a consumer test strip on Sunday and results indicated the presence of chromium-6. That resident also said family members had experienced skin irritation.
Ongoing testing will look for the presence of chromium-6, other metals, chlorine and fluoride.
“We want to leave no stone unturned so our residents can feel safe and have confidence in the quality of their water,” Van Cleave said.
At this point, “there is no reason to put out an advisory not to use the water,” she said.
In addition to the two samples taken Sunday and tested, 14 more were collected Tuesday in the Daybreak area and another four were being tested by the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District.
Van Cleave said the city hoped results of the testing would be available Wednesday.
Meanwhile, on advice of the Salt Lake County Health Department, the city will be sending out surveys asking residents to report any symptoms.
Chromium-6 occurs naturally in the environment. However, risk of contamination can also be elevated when industry fails to improperly dispose of waste properly, including use of unlined coal ash containments.
Chromium-6 can cause skin burns, pneumonia, complications during childbirth and, according to some studies, stomach cancer.