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UPDATE ON EPAS NEW LOWER COMBINED PFC HEALTH ADVISORY LEVEL
On May 19, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it lowered the health advisory levels (HAL’s) for both PFOS and PFOA to 70 parts per trillion. In addition, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) determined to include PFHpA into the 70 parts per trillion combined level. By adding three of the PFC’s together and lowering the level most well water in the Widefield aquifer cannot meet the new Health Advisory Level. PFC’s are unregulated and unenforceable. What that means is that neither the EPA nor CDPHE requires utilities to treat for or remove PFC’s as the EPA has not set a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for it and has not yet changed it from an unregulated contaminant to a regulated contaminant.
Over 60% of Widefield Water and Sanitation District’s water source comes from treated water from Pueblo Reservoir which doesn’t contain any PFC’s. Some of our well sources exceed the new combined Health Advisory Level. Our sources of water are mixed together in pipes throughout the distribution system and blended in our reservoirs. Due to this, we have no way of knowing what levels of PFC’s customers are receiving at their taps. We can assure our customers who live east of Fountain Mesa Road that the water you receive is primarily treated surface water from Pueblo Reservoir that is well below the PFC Health Advisory Level.
The primary concern pertaining to consuming water that contains PFC’s is for pregnant women and young infants. The EPA recommends that pregnant women and young infants use bottled water or water that has been treated to remove PFC’s. Customers who are concerned about PFC’s in their water can purchase and install an activated carbon filter. These filters are inexpensive and fairly easy to install. The important thing is to replace the filters (cartridges) in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation as they can incubate bacteria if not changed frequently enough. Look for an NSF, UL, Water Quality Association, or CSA Group certified label or approval.
Reverse osmosis systems also remove PFC’s, but are much more expensive.
Link to New York Health Department information about home point of use treatment:
We currently have our engineers evaluating types and cost of treatment for our wells, blending options, etc. in order to ensure that no customer needs to be concerned about any water they receive from us. We are doing this although PFC’s are unregulated and we are not required to treat for it. Please keep in mind that this just occurred May 19, 2016. We have also increased the frequency of our sampling and the number of samples we take.
A zone map identifying source water and PFC can be found at the link below:
If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment at the following numbers:
Health Questions: 303-692-6375
Water Questions: 303-692-3500
Please click on the link below for a presentation regarding PFCs that was presented at the June 21, 2016 District Board Meeting:
We will keep you informed as we gather more information and data.