Merrimack to retest water supply at all schools for PFOAs
Shannon Barnes, chairman of the Merrimack School Board, suggested last week that since there have been steady rains, it might be beneficial to revisit the water issue and retest the water at the schools.
“We want this just to see where the rainwater impacted,” Barnes told the school board.
Michael Thompson, school board member, agreed that the schools should be tested once again.
“I don’t think that we have to limit it,” Thompson said of testing for PFOA contamination, adding other contaminants also should be tested.
In May 2016, 21 ppt of PFOA was detected at Thorntons Ferry School, 23 ppt was discovered at Merrimack Middle School and 24 ppt was found at Merrimack High School.
Reeds Ferry School is the Merrimack school located closest to Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, a company that the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services believes is the likely source of water contamination discovered in southern New Hampshire.
Since a filtration system is expected to be installed, possibly this summer, on two public wells operated by Merrimack Village District – the company that provides water to Merrimack’s schools – Barnes said it would also be beneficial to test the water at the schools once the new filtration system is in place.
Matt Shevenell, assistant superintendent, said he will discuss the request with the testing agency to determine the costs of testing for PFOA and other contaminants.
According to the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services website, the most recent data from Merrimack Village District reveals PFOA levels at five of its public wells ranging from 12 to 30 ppt., with two wells still offline.