Why didn’t the City notify the public as soon as the April 30, 2019 test showed elevated levels of benzene?
The City first learned about possible elevated traces of benzene in Well No. 5’s water supply on May 9, 2019 when it received preliminary results from a regular water quality sample collected on April 30, 2019. Per State procedures, the City immediately conducted a confirmation sample and expedited the testing to confirm. The City and supporting agencies worked as quickly as possible to complete testing within seven days of obtaining the initial results. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the adverse impacts of benzene exposure typically require continued exposure over a year or more at levels higher than what was recorded during the water quality tests. Given the relatively short time period between the first test and final confirmation of test results, as well as the relatively low levels (below the federal maximum contaminant level), the City does not believe there is any danger to the health or safety of the public.