PFOA 2006
C8 filter to be installed soon for Belpre water system.
By Tim Brust. Marietta Times (Ohio). January 2, 2006.


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The Marietta Times (Ohio)

January 2, 2006
C8 filter to be installed soon for Belpre water system

By Tim Brust

BELPRE — A system that would filter the chemical C8, which has been found in six area water systems, from Belpre’s water supply could be in place in the next two months.

Robin Ollis, external affairs specialist for DuPont said the company expects to have construction of the C8 filtration system completed sometime early in 2006. An exact date depends on weather and other factors.

DuPont is installing the filtration system as part of a settlement reached in a lawsuit involving ammonium perfluorooctonate, a chemical used in the production of Teflon at the company’s Washington Works plant across the Ohio River from Belpre. The chemical has been found in the drinking water of Belpre and five other communities and some experts have raised questions about its possible health effects.

DuPont has maintained there are no adverse effects on health. A large-scale study of area residents is underway to try and determine if there are any links between C8 and various ailments.

Meanwhile, DuPont has agreed to spend about $10 million dollars in an effort to reduce the presence of the chemical in the water supply the six communities, including Belpre.

“It’s designed to reduce C8 to the lowest practical levels,” Ollis said.

Systems are also to be installed in Little Hocking, Lubeck, W.Va., Pomeroy, Tuppers Plains and Mason County, W.Va.

Belpre public works superintendent Mike Betz said the facility housing the filtration system in Belpre sits in a field next to Civitan Park just off Washington Boulevard. He said the vacant piece of land near the city’s water wells was an excellent location for the city and DuPont.

“It worked out well for us,” Betz said.

The 1,760-square-foot one-story building will be about 30 feet tall and will on be city property although all expenses of its construction and operation will be paid for by DuPont.

Betz said under the agreement with the chemical company, the city will check the facility once a day when it normally inspects the well field and notify DuPont of any problems.

According to Betz, there are still some long term ownership and maintenance details to be worked out.

Construction began about three months ago. Since the building was placed over the city’s raw water pipe, construction crews had to install a new conduit around the building. Betz said once the filters are on-line, the new pipe will serve as a bypass in the event there was some sort of problem with the facility.

Betz said engineers designed the filters to ensure water flow would not be impaired in any way.

Ollis said construction on similar facilities in Pomeroy and Tuppers Plains, both in Meigs County, is expected to be finished in the next two months as well. She said they are slightly different in each community based on a number of factors.

“The designs are customized for each of the water districts,” she said.

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