Published in the Los Angeles Times, December 15, 2007
L.A. Must Dump Water from Two Reservoirs
by Duke Helfand
In the midst of a drought, Los Angeles officials announced Friday that 600 million gallons of water must be dumped from two reservoirs that supply a swath of the city because an unexpected chemical reaction rendered it undrinkable.We can all sleep better knowing "state public health officials" are on the case.
Silver Lake and Elysian reservoirs registered elevated levels of the suspected carcinogen bromate between June and October, the result of an unusual combination of intense sunlight, bromide naturally present in groundwater and chlorine used to kill bacteria.
The reservoirs delivered water to an estimated 600,000 consumers, but state public health officials say the dangers were minimal. Bromate, they said, poses a small cancer risk only after being consumed daily over a lifetime. . .