A notice to the public posted around Alamo is leaving some families wondering if water out of their taps is safe to drink.
Alamo Sewer and Water manager Jim Poulsen wants to assure the community that it is.
The Environmental Protection Agency changed the standard for the amount of arsenic that can be in drinking water to 10 parts per billion (ppb) in 2001. The previous standard was 50 ppb. This is why there are two new wells in Alamo, one at the industrial park on Highway 93 and the other next to the new Sewer and Water building on Sandhill Road. These wells together pump in to the tank above town, which mixed together provide drinking water that meets the new standard.
However, the well on Sandhill Road failed, and it took about 5 months for the issues to be identified and resolved. In the meantime the remaining well by itself was pumping water with arsenic levels slightly above the 10 ppb threshold.
If the monthly arsenic level averages above 10 ppb for the year, the utility is required to provide the notice residents are now seeing around town.
Poulsen said both wells are now online and providing water that meets EPA standards. He also noted that prior to the new standard and new wells, Alamo residents had been drinking water with an average arsenic level of 28 ppb.