The City of Calistoga has reported higher levels of a common contaminant in the drinking water, but there is no immediate risk and residents do not need to use an alternative water supply.

The city routinely tests for contaminants in the drinking water, and on June 12 the city received results from a May 8 test which was nearly 1 point over the maximum 60 percent allowance of Haloacetic Acids (HAAs).

The city is required to notify the public if the results exceed the state allowance threshold of 60 percent.

According to Mike Kirn, director of public works, samples are taken quarterly and then averaged for the year. Test results for February were 31 percent of HAAs and 21 percent in May. However, averaged in with 96 percent last August and 94 percent in November, the result was 60.91 percent.

HAAs are a common by-product of drinking water that is chlorinated, combining with naturally occurring organics in water.

It’s not like with a bacterial contamination when a boil notice is given, Kirn said.

“It’s not that kind of a health risk. If you drank 20 gallons (of high level HAA water) for 70 years you might have a slight risk of cancer,” he said.

The next sample will be taken at the end of the month and the results will be available in mid-October.

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