News Release 381

Follow-up samples find only traces of atrazine in Drexel drinking water

Water use restrictions lifted

Volume 38-381 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Judd Slivka

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JUNE 25, 2010— Subsequent testing of drinking water samples in Drexel have found only trace amounts of atrazine well below the maximum contaminant level, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources announced today.

Samples drawn Thursday were nearly free of the common herbicide, a significant drop from levels found during the water system’s last quarterly samples, which were drawn in late May.

Thursday’s samples had 0.36 parts per billion of atrazine. The earlier samples showed levels of the herbicide at 31.2 parts per billion.

In light of the most recent sample results, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has lifted all earlier restrictions on the use of the water.  Residents may use their water for all purposes including drinking, cooking, washing dishes or bathing.

The maximum contaminant level for atrazine is a rolling annual average of 3 parts per billion.  The Department of Natural Resources is investigating the cause for this recent spike in atrazine levels as well as working with the city on adjusting its water treatment to account for the herbicide. City officials will continue to draw samples next to confirm the most recent results.

The department has been working with the Drexel Public Water Supply on compliance issues for several years.  The Drexel water system is currently constructing a connection to the Tri-County Water Authority in Independence.  The water system has signed an agreement to begin purchasing water from Tri-County by the end of the year.

Atrazine is a common herbicide used to control broadleaf and grassy weeds.  Atrazine is mainly applied to corn crops, but is also used on sorghum, sugarcane and Christmas tree farms.

For more information, call the Department of Natural Resources’ Public Drinking Water Branch at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-5331.