The Kenwood Press
News: 05/15/2018

Kenwood water tests come up clean

Jay Gamel

Owner Jim Downey is happy to report that recent, special testing of the Kenwood Village Water Company’s (KVWC) well on Treehaven came up clear for benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylenes. These are the main contaminants found in the Fountaingrove area of Santa Rosa that may require rebuilding the entire water system for the area. Cost estimates for Fountaingrove are running as high as $42 million.

According to Janice Thomas of the Division of Drinking Water for the State Water Resources Control Board requested KVWC to collect and test a water sample, which they did. Thomas oversees the Sonoma District of the DDW, based in Santa Rosa.

The sample, taken on April 3, was tested by Brelje & Race Laboratories, which reported, “none detected for the lowest reporting limit.” Since it is a special test, done voluntarily, it will not appear on the DDW’s website which details all reporting and testing requirements and results for California’s many drinking water providers.

Benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylenes are labeled VOC for “volatile organic compounds” and can be dangerous at very small levels, down to a few parts per billion. While they can and do occur naturally, most often they are found in petroleum byproducts, including paint thinners, paints, solvents, and even in various forms of plastic piping. Some are added to gasoline products to improve octane ratings.

While the state requires regular testing at regular intervals for these substances, KVWC was not due to test for these substances until June 15, 2021, having last tested on June 15, 2015. They all tested “.0000” in 2015.