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GWA: water safe to drink in Barrigada and Mangilao

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - Is the water safe to drink in Barrigada and Mangilao? Apparently that depends on who you ask. The Guam EPA last Friday said it wasn't and issued a boil water notice. Guam Waterworks Authority on the other hand defends the water is fact safe to drink. Matter of fact GWA assistant general manager of compliance and safety Paul Kemp is a member of the standard methods committee that reviews, updates and approves the methods in the manual on a regular basis.  "I live in the area that is of concern and I have not stop drinking the water right from the tap we have been sampling the area we have done extra sampling at Guam EPA's request and as of Sunday we sampled the exact same locations that Guam EPA sampled and all of our tests have come up negative," he explained.

Kemp suspects that there was a sampling error with the water samples taken by Guam EPA adding that they showed traces of chlorine and when that is present bacteria generally are not. But Guam EPA stands by the samples they took and their findings. The agency's administrator, Eric Palacios, told KUAM News, "I am only going to speak to the results that our lab produced and that is that it is not at this point and time safe for consumption, drinking cooking preparing food and brushing teeth."

He says that when his team conducts water testing and sample collection they ensure that the process is done properly, noting, "All throughout the collection distribution and analytical phases at Guam EPA I am confident that the results that are coming out are unfortunately not favorable to our community but the results that are coming out are still showing positive."

With the positive results Palacios says they are being cautious and advising residents in the affected areas to boil their water. To drink or not to drink? That is the question. While the Guam EPA has issued a boil water notice the Guam Waterworks Authority stands by the fact that the water is safe to drink but if you have any concerns about the water quality in your home you can always contact GWA and have it tested for free," he said
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