Chromium FAQs

Pinellas County Utilities is committed to protecting and improving the quality of our drinking water. Part of this effort includes a commitment to proactively test our water supply for contaminants.

What is chromium?

Chromium is a natural metal which is common in the earth’s crust. There are multiple forms of chromium, chromium-3 is a required nutrient for humans, whereas chromium-6 is thought to be harmful to human health when exposed to high levels.

Where does chromium in drinking water come from?

Naturally occurring levels of chromium in water could come from rocks, plants, or soil, and are usually at levels well below federal standards for drinking water. Industrial activities can also result in higher chromium levels in drinking water. Testing of Pinellas County’s water supply has shown a consistently low level of chromium over time.

Why is chromium in drinking water a concern?

The Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates the safety of drinking water, is currently investigating whether chromium-6 is a health concern when ingested. This investigation will aid in determining whether a new drinking water standard is needed for chromium-6 versus the existing regulation for total chromium. Federal drinking water standards currently limit chromium-6 in drinking water by limiting the total amount of chromium that can be in the water.

Does Pinellas County test for chromium?

Pinellas County Utilities tested for chromium, completing the most recent testing in 2015. The county’s total chromium level was measured in the range of 0.2 – 0.46 parts per billion, which is below the Environmental Protection Agency’s guideline of 100 parts per billion or less. Although the EPA does not require regular testing for chromium, Pinellas County Utilities has recently decided to add chromium back to its list of contaminants being regularly monitored. This is being done in order to track the consistently low chromium levels over time.

Where can I find information on chromium testing from Pinellas County?

Chromium testing information can be found in the consumer confidence report.

Where can I find additional information?