Tap Water isn’t that Safe

Environmental Working Group (EWG) has data to prove that the quality of the tap water at Millersville University is not safe to drink. 
By Evan Thames

For those who drink water from a faucet you might be surprised what is actually in the water. Students at Millersville have been complaining about the tap water in the dorms and even off campus for some time now. This has been an on-going problem here at Millersville but the University believes nothing is wrong. In 2016, the University had the water tested and as students expected, they said there was nothing wrong with it. Director of Environmental Health and Safety, Patrick Weidinger stated “We do not believe there is a problem with contamination of our entire drinking water system or any other building/area”. But in reality the school is hiding something from the students and this is bigger than anything that happens here. 

The Truth about the tap water

The same year, the quality of water at Millersville made it to Fox 43. What the University didn’t tell students that there is a chemical in the water called chromium 6. For those who don’t know what chromium 6 is, it is a human carcinogen, which is sadly found in the tap water. Increased exposure to chromium 6 leads to an increased risk of lung cancer, may damage the small capillaries in your kidneys and intestines. Other side effects range from occupational asthma to kidney damage. Ed Rajaseelan a professor at Millersville gives insight to what the impact of having chromium 6 in the water. First point he makes “if they’re regularly drinking really really high levels it will cause cancer, mostly stomach cancer”. This isn’t the best thing to hear from a professor for students going to Millersville. Who knows how much students are drinking from the faucet here. Another thing, what if a student drinking the tap water all 4 years at Millersville? These are the types of questions we should be asking the university. His next point which breaks down the important part of knowing what is dangerous about the quality of water with chromium 6. He explains “if you drink 2 liters of water that has that much chromium in it, chromium 6 in it, after 70 years one in a million may get cancer”.

 What to expect?

After reading this everyone will have those what ifs, in the end those questions matter depending on those who stay in this area till they are that old. Another great point that was made in the article tells you the quality of water will stay the same in Millersville for a long time. The only way to get chromium out of our drinking water is to put another toxin in the water to dilute it, but in the end it will contaminate it even more. Fast forward three years to now, sadly nothing has changed about the water. The Environmental Working Group has the recent quarter results which is January 2019-March 2019, and they found that six contaminants exceeded EWG guidelines. Of those six contaminants three of them are over the EWG limit and do not have a legal limit. Another thing that is scary is that these three toxins has the potential effect of cancer. The one thing they stressed in their results is that getting a passing grade from the federal government does not mean the water meets the latest health guidelines. Which means just because the government passes you, legal doesn’t mean it is safe to drink. Something is being hidden about the water and this should be addressed to the school. One thing that is addressed on the EWG results is that the legal limits for contaminants in tap water have not been updated in almost 20 years. In the end these tests and results should be updated every year but in this case I would like to know monthly if things have changed. After all of this research students should really think twice about drinking the tap water here at Millersville University. Who knows what is in the water at this point and who knows what drinking the water will do to you now. 

Solution to this Problem

For those of you who don’t know what a Brita filter is, it filters out any minerals in the water and gives you the cleanest form of water to drink. This is a hot commodity here at Millersville, I have seen one in almost every dorm and house off campus. This is definitely the solution to the tap water issue instead of buying cases of water every time.


Blue: current toxic site Red: former toxic site
  • Test on water in 2016 found there is something in the tap water
  • Later that year, Millersville got on the news for having Chromium-6 in the water
  • No update through the school since then
  • EWG tests the water for this year and finds numerous amounts of toxins

Dr. Edward Rajaseelan

Inorganic Chemistry, Professor, Department Chair

Dr. Edward Rajaseelan is a professor here at Millersville University teaching students about Inorganic Chemistry. Edward also works with the school making the campus as sustainable as possible. Both Edward and Patrick will be working hard in the near future to make this campus energy efficient.

Patrick Weidinger

Director, Safety & Environmental Health

Patrick Weidinger works with the school making sure the campus is up to standards. Setting the standard for a green campus, Patrick works to make Millersville as energy efficient as possible. As Millersville puts their new plan to generate more energy for the upcoming years, Patrick’s department will be working hard to make Millersville more sustainable.



Water Update. (2016, April 14). Retrieved from

Environmental Working Group. (n.d.). EWG’s Tap Water Database: What’s in Your Drinking Water? Retrieved December 1, 2019, from

Cancer causing chemical found in PA drinking water, but is it dangerous? (2016, October 20). Retrieved from

Cancer causing chemical found in PA drinking water, but is it dangerous? (2016, October 20). Retrieved from