Should Broken Arrow residents be concerned about their tap water? The city says a recent test detected an increase in two cancer causing chemicals. However, the city of Broken Arrow says residents have nothing to worry about, but one mom disagrees.
Erika Dugan says she's done her homework, and she thinks the water in Broken Arrow has made her family sick. "We had a lot of abdominal problems, gastrointestinal, and respiratory problems," she told Tulsa's Channel 8. She says genetics may have played a role in their illnesses, but she says even their hamster Charles is sick. Dugan says he has tumors. She blames the water and says she had her home tested. She says results showed high levels of cancer causing chemicals in the water. The city's director of engineering says he's not familiar with Dugan's particular claims, but Kenneth Schwab says a test done in May showed an increased level of the two such chemicals, and the levels were over the limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA. However, he says you shouldn't be alarmed. "There's a risk and the risk is like one in 100,000, but it's over an extended continual use at a certain amount per day. I think the EPA establishes something like a 70 year interval that you're looking at."
Schwab says they test quarterly and the EPA goes off an average of those tests. Plus, he says the city's supplier out of Pryor has changed it's methods for disinfecting the water which has helped. He also says a new plant under construction now will help lower levels of the chemicals in question.
Another round of testing will take place in November. In the meantime, Dugan is selling her house and says she's since gotten a water filtration system. While covering this story, Tulsa's Channel 8 met one of Dugan's neighbors who said she's lived in the area for 16 years and has never had any problems nor heard of any others because of the water.