* * * UPDATE ON PFOA WATER TESTING * * *
As stated in our earlier posting, the Village recently learned of the detection of an unregulated compound, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in water produced by Well #17. PFOA is not currently regulated, nor required to be tested for, by either the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) or the United State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, scientific studies have shown possible adverse health effects resulting from PFOA exposure. As a result, the NJDEP and the EPA have established guideline levels of PFOA in drinking water and are currently contemplating the regulation and mandatory testing of drinking water for PFOA. The NJDEP guideline is 40 ppt (parts per trillion) for a “lifetime” exposure, defined as 70 years of exposure. The EPA guideline is 400 ppt for a “short term” exposure of weeks or months.
As noted in our January posting, the Village’s Well #17 water had previously tested in excess of the NJDEP lifetime exposure guideline, but well below the EPA short term exposure guideline. In addition, the Well #17 water represents only about 10% of the water in our system and no consumer receives 100% Well #17 water. Instead, the Well #17 water is blended with water from EOWC which had not tested in excess of the guidelines. As a result, the Village knew the Well #17 water was diluted, but we did not know the extent of that dilution or blending.
As an initial step, the Village arranged for additional sampling and laboratory testing of both Well #17 water and water from other selected locations in the water system. Those locations were the closest points above and below the point that Well #17 water is introduced into the system, two additional points further downstream from those initial points, as well as a sample taken from the Seton Hall campus.
We are pleased to report that while the Well #17 water again tested above the NJDEP guideline, none of the additional samples tested in excess of the more stringent NJDEP lifetime exposure guideline of 40 ppt. The results were as follows:
Well #17 75 ppt
Farrell Field Hydrant 10 ppt
South Mountain School 10 ppt
324 Valley Street 26 ppt
454 Valley Street 29 ppt
Seton Hall Campus 32 ppt
The Village has arranged for additional testing and is committed to continued monitoring of the PFOA levels pending a permanent solution. In this regard, the Village has commissioned our water engineer to complete a hydraulic system analysis to confirm the directional flow, concentration, and blending of the Well #17 water. In addition, the Village is exploring the flexibility we have in Well #17 production, and specifically our ability to reduce the production and thereby increase the dilution. We are also exploring both interim and permanent GAC (granular activated charcoal) filtration systems to treat the Well #17 and remove the PFOAs.
We will keep the public updated as these efforts continue, but felt that it was important to provide the additional test results which confirm that the blended water in the system being delivered to consumers does not exceed even the most stringent NJDEP 40 ppt “lifetime exposure” guideline.