Vaughn Water Company issues notice after elevated 1,2,3 TCP levels this summer

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Vaughn Water Company issued a notice to customers this summer after quarterly water tests showed one of their 12 wells had 1,2,3 TCP levels that exceeded the maximum set by California officials last year.

Van Grayer, general manager for Vaughn Water Company, said a test in June showed elevated levels of the chemical at the Hageman 1 well. The results showed there were 8 parts per trillion of the chemical in the water, more than the state's level of 5 ppt set in July 2017.

Grayer insisted the notice is not an emergency, and that no one is facing any health risks.

Grayer said the water tests are done each quarter, as mandated by the state, and the most recent test showed the levels are back to 0 ppt after a treatment system was installed at the site.

According to Grayer, Vaughn Water has 12 wells in the district, with 11 of them actually active right now. Of those 12, eight showed evidence of 1,2,3 TCP, but that was before 2017, Grayer said.

The water company has since installed treatment systems at the active wells and those systems are now online.

Back in 2016, 23ABC News reported on the presence of 1,2,3 TCP in Kern County water supplies. The EPA says the chemical is a degreasing agent used by Dow Chemical and Shell Oil back in the mid-1900's. California health officials say over long-term exposure, the chemical can lead to increased cancer risk.

Grayer said the Vaughn Water notice to customers, which was sent with the customers' water bills, stated that this is "not an emergency."

He added that when a test shows levels of TCP that exceed the state's maximum, companies are required to send notices to their customers using a template provided by the state.

Grayer also said that the state only requires districts' "Running Annual Average" for TCP to be below the 5 ppt level, and that that will be the case by the end of the year, thanks to the newly installed treatment systems.

Vaughn Water Company issued this response on their Facebook page: 

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