Lithia Water Service to Resume
Lithia water service to the historic Lithia fountain on the Ashland plaza and the Enders shelter in Lithia Park will resume this weekend. A reported spike in the water’s barium levels prompted the City of Ashland to temporarily suspend services of this unique mineral water until further analysis could be conducted. That analysis determined the spike was a false reading in a lab test, the barium levels are actually about the same as they have historically been.
Lithia water is not a considered a community water source in the same manner as the drinking water delivered to homes and businesses through the City’s water distribution system. Because it is not considered a community water source it is not required to meet the same drinking water standards. Lithia water is tested regularly and any change from the historic levels of elements that make up this unique water have, and will continue to be a cause for further analysis. Barium levels in Lithia water remain around 5 parts per million, which exceeds safe drinking water standards. The EPA sets the level for safe drinking at no more than 2 parts per million. As a result, this very unique water is not recommended for daily consumption and signs will be posted at the fountains to advise residents and visitors of that.
The City of Ashland will continue to monitor the makeup of the Lithia water. Changes to the historic levels of any of the naturally occurring elements will be cause for further analysis. At this time the levels of all the elements are at or near their historic levels and the water can again be delivered to town.