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DOH News Release: Trace levels of organic chemical found in South Kona water sources

Posted on Dec 4, 2017 in Latest Department News

Water is safe to drink

HONOLULU – During routine sampling of drinking water systems, the Hawaii State Department of Health found minute amounts of dalapon in the Hawaii County Department of Water Supply’s Keei Well A and Keei Well B. The chemical was detected for the first time in the Keei Well A tank in the South Kona system last month.

Dalapon was confirmed in November at trace levels, just above laboratory detection limits, in the range of 1.0 to 2.5 micrograms per liter or parts per billion (ppb). This is well below the federal and state Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for dalapon of 200 ppb. The federal and state standards are set to avoid health risks based on a lifetime of consuming water containing that level of contaminant.

“These findings do not represent a health threat,” said Keith Kawaoka, Deputy Director for Environmental Health. “Our Safe Drinking Water Branch is working together with the Hawaii Department of Water Supply to closely monitor these wells and will continue to test the water being served to consumers to ensure that public health is not compromised.”

Dalapon is an herbicide used to control grasses in a wide variety of crops, including fruit trees, beans, coffee, corn, cotton and peas. It is also registered for use in a number of non-crop applications such as lawns, drainage ditches, and in industrial areas.

To date, the South Kona water system is and continues to be in compliance with all federal and state standards for drinking water.