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Release Date: 1/6/1998
Contact Information: Paula Bruin, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1587

     (San Francisco)--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has tested the municipal drinking water wells in McFarland, Calif., and found the water safe to drink. The water sampling conducted in July was the first phase of U.S. EPA's investigation to determine current environmental conditions in the community's soil, water and air.

     The public is invited to attend an open house to discuss sampling activities Tuesday, January 13, 1998, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the McFarland Community Center, 107 Sherwood Ave., McFarland, Calif.   Representatives from the Agency will also be available to discuss plans to complete the water tests by sampling tap water in several homes, public buildings and schools throughout McFarland in the next few months.

      U.S. EPA tested the water for more than 300 potential contaminants in one of the most extensive chemical analyses of municipal wells ever conducted.  Most were not present in any of McFarland's drinking water wells. Several substances detected such as magnesium, arsenic and iron occur naturally in groundwater.  Some substances which are not naturally occurring were also detected, but all substances found were present at concentrations below levels of health concern under the Safe Drinking Water Act or other federal and state health criteria.

     U.S. EPA's investigation is in response to a petition by some McFarland residents who requested help in assessing the community's potential environmental problems.

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NOTE TO EDITORS: A press availablility will be held from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the McFarland Community Center, 107 Sherwood Ave., McFarland, Calif.  Representatives from U.S. EPA will be available to discuss the investigation and answer media questions.