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Traces of chemicals found in local well

Posted: June 22, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 22, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Traces of an organic chemical linked to plastics and harmful to humans was detected last month in miniscule amounts — well below the threat level — at a well owned by the Valencia Water Co.

Late last month, officials at the water company detected the presence of volatile organic chemicals, or VOCs, during a routine inspection, said Keith Abercrombie, operations manager for Valencia Water.

“We did have, as part of our routine inspection, detection of low levels of VOC,” Abercrombie said.

The safety threshold for VOCs set by the California Department of Public Health is 5 parts per billion. VOC amounts less than 0.5 ppb are not required to be reported.

The amount of VOCs found in the Valencia Water Co. well last month registered 0.55 ppb, Abercrombie said.

The company notified the department of its find.

Volatile organic chemicals are commonly released through the breakdown of plastics.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, VOCs are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary, room-temperature conditions.

Many VOCs, according to the EPA, are dangerous to humans and harmful to the environment.



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