BLOSSBURG - Residents of the borough and Hamilton Township have been warned by the municipal authority here not to drink tap water because of "elevated" levels of mercury found in a routine water sampling taken from the Bellman Water Treatment Plant, according to a release issued by borough Manager George Lloyd late Thursday afternoon.
According to Lloyd, the .0038 milligrams of mercury per liter found in the sampling is above the Environmental Protection Agency's health advisory level of .002 mg/L for one day.
According to the EPA, consuming water that contains a contaminant above this health advisory level may be a serious human health concern.
Residents are advised to not drink or boil the water at all or use it for cooking, because boiling water containing mercury can make the mercury more concentrated. Mercury remains behind when water evaporates.
Instead, the authority is advising residents to use bottled water instead, and to throw out any ice cubes made with tap water.
The EPA has found mercury to potentially cause kidney damage when people are exposed to it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time.
The authority will use water from the Sportsmen's Club Well until the problem can be resolved, Lloyd said.
"When additional testing has been completed and if the test results come back OK you will be notified," Lloyd added.
In the meantime, he said, people with specific health concerns may wish to consult doctors.
For more information, call the municipal authority at 638-2452 during normal business hours.