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Expert panel to release first recommendations following West Palm Beach water advisory earlier this year

Toxins found in city's tap water in May
Posted at 10:39 AM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 10:39:43-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — West Palm Beach city leaders are likely to learn Thursday the first recommendations from an expert panel on changes recommended to keep drinking water safe.

The panel of water quality experts was put together by Mayor Keith James in the wake of May's water crisis when levels of blue-green algae toxins were found in the city's drinking water.

That's when people 65 and older, and those with certain medical conditions in West Palm Beach, and in the towns of Palm Beach and South Palm Beach were told not to drink the water because of the levels of contaminants.

MORE: Water toxicology specialist questions West Palm Beach delaying water advisory

The city handed out bottled water for several days before tests showed the tap water was toxin-free.

That panel of experts began meeting in June and is expected to issue a preliminary report on improvements to the water treatment plant, and other parts of the water distribution system at the next city commission meeting.

"I understand they're going to be doing short-term, mid-term and long-term recommendations," said Mayor Keith James. "As to how long they're going to be meeting, I don't know. What I've told my staff is to let the panel know to take whatever time they need because this information is going to be vital."

The panel has been meeting via Zoom and in person. It has included leaders of the city of Salem, Oregon, whose drinking water was also tainted with blue-green algae toxins in 2018.

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