What's in your water? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

What's in your water?

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

One group is raising questions about the quality of water in the Birmingham area. 

Everyone depends on and needs drinking water. The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit group which puts out consumer advice. You can go to their website, type in your zip code, and get an update on the water in your community. 

If you type in a zip code related to the Birmingham Water Works, EWG reports there are six unhealthy chemicals which can cause cancer.  

The website said these chemicals were reported to be in the water system detected between 2010 and 2015:

  • Bromodichloromethane
  • Chloroform
  • Chromium (hexavalent)
  • Dibromochloromethane
  • Radiological contaminants
  • Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

A spokesman for the Birmingham Water Works Board said those chemicals were detected and were reported by the water board, but they are not a threat to consumers.

"There is a lot of things that can cause cancer. The contaminants detected in the system, the amounts are so small to the lowest minute level," Rick Jackson with the BWWB said.  

Still, RiverKeepers - an environmental watchdog group - says the information is useful for consumers. 

"I think it’s great the Environmental Working Group is putting out information to the public, sources of the types of contamination in drinking water," Nelson Brooke with RiverKeepers said. 

Jackson said the chemicals are not a threat and if there was a health hazard, the board would act quickly. "The Birmingham Water Works is standing strong on having the highest quality of water. You are not at threat. If there is any type of threat, we would make it known, widespread, and immediate," Jackson said.

Jackson said the website may be generating sales for filters for consumers to buy who may be worried about water quality. Brooke said filters are a good investment for consumers. 

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