PFOA 2006
Little Hocking system still not filtered
By Brad Bauer. The Marietta Times (Ohio). March 10, 2006.


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March 10, 2006

The Marietta Times (Ohio)
Little Hocking system still not filtered

By Brad Bauer

DuPont officials are waiting on the Little Hocking Water Association to approve design plans so the company can move forward with the installation of a filter to remove traces of C8 from the water system.

DuPont is installing the filtration system at six local water systems as part of a court settlement reached last year.

Little Hocking water has the highest concentrations of C8 of the affected water systems, but is the furthest from having filters installed.

Customers in the water system are eligible to have bottled water delivered to their homes, but some say they’re ready to go back to using their faucets.

“It is a little bit of a nuisance to use the bottled water and I would really like to go back to using a tap,” said Little Hocking Water Association customer Dave Freeman. “But, if we didn’t have the alternative, I think I would be more concerned.”

The chemical C8, also known as ammonium perfluorooctanoate or PFOA, has been used by DuPont since 1951 at its Washington Works plant in the production of Teflon, which is used in a variety of consumer goods, including non-stick cookware.

It was recently reported by the federal Environmental Protection Agency that the chemical is a “likely” carcinogen to humans. The EPA’s review is ongoing.

DuPont officials say once Little Hocking officials approve the plans, regulatory approval will be required by Ohio EPA. After that, construction is expected to take about two months.

“DuPont has worked with Little Hocking and its technical experts for well over a year to develop extensive design plans, and has also purchased property to overcome a flood-plain issue with the existing well field,” said Robin Ollis, DuPont spokeswoman. “DuPont believes the design is ready for regulatory approval, a necessary step before construction can begin.”

DuPont is reporting filtration systems are installed and functioning at Belpre, Pomeroy and Tupers Plains. Belpre’s water filtration system started late last week. The Pomeroy system has been operating since mid-February, and tests show the filtration system is working according to design.

“The test results for that water system were non-detect through the entire filtration system,” Ollis said.

Test results from the other systems were not complete, but expected to also show no traces of C8 in the drinking water.

Bob Griffin, Little Hocking Water Association general manager, said the filtration plans are “getting close to being able to submit to Ohio EPA.”

Griffin said Little Hocking may have fallen behind because a building site out of the flood-plain had to be acquired to install the filtration system.

Also, the filtration system sought for the water association was not identical to the other systems being installed.

“Our design is probably a little more complicated than the rest,” Griffin said.

Griffin said the design will incorporate four vessels, each holding 20,000 pounds of activated carbon, that will remove C8 and other chemicals from the system’s water.

The system incorporates several backups and detection warnings when the carbon filters need replaced.

Griffin said even though DuPont is heading up the project, the Ohio EPA holds Little Hocking Water Association responsible for providing safe water to its customers.

Vincent resident Joan Hendrickson, 71, said she is concerned about how long the project is taking.

“I’ve been using bottled water for years,” Hendrickson said. “I don’t even give my animals water out of the spigot because of this.”

Copyright © 2006 — The Marietta Times

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