The Alabama Department of Public Health Monday afternoon removed six of eight Alabama water systems from a recommended advisory, which was issued last week, dealing with the potential concentration of two cancer-causing chemicals.
One of those removed from the list was the Centre Waterworks & Sewer Board.
Following Monday’s announcement, only the West Morgan/East Lawrence Water Authority and the West Lawrence Water Co-op are still being affected by that advisory, which warned residents that exposure to elevated levels of the particular compounds, could possibly have led to a number of health problems over time including cancer in adults and developmental problems for fetuses and breastfed infants.
Also no longer part of the advisory are Gadsden Water Works & Sewer Board the Northeast Alabama Water District, Southside and Rainbow City and Vinemont Anon West Point Water Systems.
According to the announcement from the Alabama Department of Public Health (quote) “Today, ADEM announced plans to conduct confirmatory sampling in two systems, Gadsden Water Works and Sewer Board and Centre Water and Sewer Board, which supply Northeast Alabama Water District, Southside Water Works and Sewer Board, and the Utilities Board of Rainbow City,” an announcement stated. “Therefore, these five systems are no longer affected by this recommendation. ADPH will review the test results when available to determine if additional recommendations are needed.”
Vinemont, ADPH said, is now purchasing water from an alternate supplier, and is no longer affected by the EPA recommendations.
We spoke with Centre Mayor Tony Wilkie on Monday regarding the situation and he shared his frustration with the way in which the matter was handled by the agencies, including the news release:
We were also informed by the mayor Tuesday morning, that officials are currently in the area, obtaining additional water samples for use in further testing, as a precautionary measure; he added that this will likely be going on for several days.
NEWS RELEASE ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH (Issued late Monday, May 23rd, 2016)
RSA Tower 201 Monroe Street, Suite 914 Montgomery, AL 36104
Phone 334-206-5300 Fax 334-206-5534
Health Department modifies Health Advisories impacting north Alabama water systems
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
John Guarisco, Ph.D.
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) continues to work with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) and federal agencies to determine any
potential hazards related to perfluorinated compounds in drinking water in eight north Alabama water systems.
Based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s final health advisory for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooactanoic acid (PFOA) issued last Thursday, ADEM listed eight water systems that had tests showing concentrations of PFOS and PFOA above the final EPA level. ADPH announced EPA’s health advisory recommending that pregnant and breast-feeding mothers served by identified water systems consider using alternate sources of drinking water.
For formula-fed infants, the recommendation is to consider using formula that does not require adding water. Other people served by these systems may also consider these steps.
Today, ADEM announced plans to conduct confirmatory sampling in two systems, Gadsden Water Works & Sewer Board and the Centre Water & Sewer Board, which supply Northeast Alabama Water District, Southside Water Works and Sewer Board, and the Utilities Board of Rainbow City; therefore, the five systems are no longer affected by this recommendation.
ADPH will review test results when available to determine if additional recommendations are needed. ADPH understands that Vinemont Anon West Point Water Systems, Inc., is now purchasing water from an alternate supplier, and is, therefore, no longer affected by the EPA recommendations.
Remaining affected by the health advisory is the West Morgan-East Lawrence Water Authority, as well as the West Lawrence Water Co-op and any other systems that purchase water from this Authority. As additional information becomes available, ADPH will make recommendations as needed to protect the public.
(Information provided in part by al.com/www.al.com)