A property owner living in the Chalfant Valley community discovered an elevated level of uranium in a water sample from their private well. As a result, the Mono County Environmental Health Department has recommended that all property owners in the Chalfant Valley, Hammil Valley and Benton areas test their private drinking water wells for uranium.
Jon Drozd, Environmental Health Specialist for Mono, sent a letter to all Tri-Valley landowners to recommend the water test. He does say that wells serving public water systems in the Chalfant area currently meet the maximum contaminant level for uranium. So, it is anticipated that many or most private wells in the area will also meet this standard. Mono County does not pay for water tests. They did send out a list of certified labs where residents can get water tested.
Health Officer Dr. Rick Johnson issued information on uranium and health concerns. He said that exposure to soluble uranium in drinking water has not been shown to significantly increase the risk of developing cancer. While the cancer risk is slight, increased risk of kidney damage from uranium ingestion is the greatest concern.
More on this issue at a Benton Regional Planning Committee meeting August 5th at 6:30pm at the Benton Community Center. A similar meeting will be held in Chalfant August 12th at 6:30pm. County staff will attend these meetings to help answer questions.