Stuart replaced wells after EPA found too much PFOS and PFOA in drinking water
Stuart replaced wells after EPA found too much PFOS and PFOA in drinking water.
In 2016, when the EPA recognized the chemicals’ dangers and lowered acceptable PFOS levels by 65 percent, the city closed and later replaced the wells that were contaminating the water supply to all customers, city spokesman Ben Hogarth said.
Cleaning the water Stuart’s levels meet today’s EPA standards, as they did before 2016, but they’re still higher what many experts consider safe.
Heightened exposure can cause cancer, liver damage, low birth weight and a weakened immune system, according to the EPA.
The only safe level is 1 part per trillion, said Bill Walker, an Environmental Working Group senior scientist.
That’s analogous to one square inch in 250 square miles.
The city also has allocated $600,000 in the 2017-18 proposed budget for additional water treatment that would remove these chemicals, Peters said.
Some experts caution individuals against relying on such filters, however.
"We think this is an issue that needs to be addressed on a community level, and it shouldn’t be down to the individual homeowner to remove these types of chemicals," said Andrews, the Environmental Working Group senior scientist.
Their health effects are unknown, and they’re not as easy to remove from water as PFOS and PFOA, said Phil Brown, a Northeastern University professor who co-authored a study with the Environmental Working Group on PFOS and PFOA levels in drinking water throughout the U.S. More studies Stuart’s previously high levels were cited in that study, released Thursday.