Talkeetna water tests high for arsenic

Talkeetna water system customers will soon receive a notice about slightly elevated arsenic levels in the water in December and January.

The Environmental Protection Agency requires that arsenic levels are no higher than 10 micrograms per liter.  In December, the water tested at just below 15 micrograms, and in January it tested around 13.

Mat-Su Borough Public Works Director Terry Dolan says that a malfunctioning pump that feeds a chemical into the water to remove arsenic caused the problem.  He says the pump was rebuilt on Thursday and is now functioning normally.  An initial test showed that the treated water was well below the limit for arsenic, and further tests will be conducted to ensure the issue is solved.

Terry Dolan says consumption of the water for a short period of time at the arsenic levels found is not harmful, and that customers would have been immediately notified if the arsenic content reached dangerous levels.  He says residents can continue using the water normally.