Mike McGill of Water PIO, a consulting firm hired by the Georgia Rural Water Association to work with the City of Summerville in the ongoing water crisis, says that the water filters that were suggested by health officials won’t work to get out the PFOA / PFOS chemicals that are above the Federal government’s water standards in the city’s water supply.
The Georgia EPD had recommended using ANSI 53 grade filters and that information was given out to residents, but McGill says that those types of filters do not remove the chemical from the water. In fact, McGill says that only a reverse-osmosis water filter will successfully remove the chemical from the drinking water.
Local hardware stores had ordered water filters to supply the growing demand from the city’s water customers, only to find out that the water filters that they ordered meeting the recommendations of the Georgia EPD may not help at all. One local hardware store told WZQZ that they are trying to find affordable reverse-osmosis water filters to stock, but the reverse-osmosis filters are generally pretty expensive.
McGill is a paid consultant for the city and does not represent the EPA or the Georgia EPD.
(WZQZ Chattooga County Radio)
Questions abound about the safety of Summerville’s water supply and the City of Summerville is desperately trying to find a solution to the ongoing problem since the EPA and EPD said that the city’s water does not meet Federal standards.
The city belongs to the Georgia Rural Water Association (GRWA) – an association of rural government entities across the state that supply public water. The GRWA has hired a consultant from Water PIO to mitigate between the City of Summerville and governmental agencies to try to ease restrictions that have been put in place.
At a meeting on Monday evening, Mike McGill with Water PIO spoke to a large crowd who came to the Summerville City Council meeting because of concern about the water supply. McGill is a paid consultant who will be representing the city as they try to find a solution with the EPA and EPD. WZQZ News asked Mr. McGill how much he was being paid by the city. McGill said, “Actually, I don’t have a contract at this point, but the Georgia Rural Water Association and the City know my rates.”
One of the first orders of business for Mr. McGill is to mediate between the city and the Northwest Georgia Health Department to try to allow local restaurants the ability to use the city’s water supply. There were several local restaurant owners at Monday’s meeting who were anxious for a solution to the ongoing problem. According to sources at Summerville City Hall, McGill was in talks with the Health Department on Tuesday to find a solution.
One of the solutions being talked about is allowing restaurants to use the water, but have a disclaimer warning about the water posted in a conspicuous manner so that restaurant patrons are aware of the advisory.
Summerville Mayor Harry Harvey said that the city cannot take any action towards allowing restaurants to use the water until the Northwest Georgia Department of Public Health agrees to a solution.
(WZQZ Chattooga County Radio)