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Trace levels of herbicide detected in South Kona water sources - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

Trace levels of herbicide detected in South Kona water sources

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The Hawaii State Department of Health reports Monday that, during routine sampling of drinking water systems, minute amounts of dalapon were found in the Hawaii County Department of Water Supply’s Keei Well A and Keei Well B.

The chemical was detected for the first time in the Keei Well A tank in the South Kona system last month.

Dalapon is an herbicide used to control grasses in a wide variety of crops, including fruit trees, beans, coffee, corn, cotton, and peas. It is also registered for use in a number of non-crop applications such as lawns, drainage ditches, along roadways, and in industrial areas.

Per the EPA and DOH, “some people who drink water containing Dalapon well in excess of the MCL (Maximum Contaminant Level) over many years could experience minor kidney changes."

Dalapon was confirmed in November at trace levels, just above laboratory detection limits, in the range of 1.0 to 2.5 micrograms per liter or parts per billion (ppb). This is well below the federal and state Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for dalapon of 200 ppb. The federal and state standards are set to avoid health risks based on a lifetime of consuming water containing that level of contaminant. 

“These findings do not represent a health threat,” said Keith Kawaoka, Deputy Director for Environmental Health. “Our Safe Drinking Water Branch is working together with the Hawaii Department of Water Supply (DWS) to closely monitor these wells and will continue to test the water being served to consumers to ensure that public health is not compromised.”

To date, the DOH says that the South Kona water system "is and continues to be in compliance with all federal and state standards for drinking water." The DWS  will continue to work together with the DOH and plans to increase monitoring above what is currently required by federal and state laws.

If you have any questions, either call the department at 808-961-8050 or email dws@hawaiidws.org.

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