Wednesday, May 8, 2019

What's in the Water?

Today, an interactive map, created by EWG, appeared on Facebook that showed PFAS contamination in the United States. Alarmingly, if you zoom in on the map, it seems to indicate that there are PFAS in the water in Hudson.

Curious, I contacted Rob Perry, superintendent of Public Works, to ask if our water was tested for PFA contamination, since such testing is not currently required in New York State. He told me two things. First, if you zoom in further on the map, you see that the site of PFAS contamination is not in Hudson at all but in Greenport, near the site of Greenport Town Hall--nowhere near the source of Hudson's water supply.

Perry also quoted to me this statement from the City of Hudson's annual water quality report (page 2, paragraph 2):
Recent news stories about the safety of water supplies across the country has brought more focus on drinking water. Stories about high lead levels and PFOA seem to show up in the newspaper and television news almost every day. We would like to emphasize that our water supply is safe and regularly tested. . . . There are some "emerging contaminants" in which a material or chemical is characterized as a potential or real threat to human health. This would be PFOA (perfluoroctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluoroctane sulfonate). The City is not required to test for PFOA or PFOS (Code of Federal Regulations/Title 10 Subpart 5), but in light of recent regional issues has taken the proactive stance to perform these tests. A sample was collected and analyzed for PFOA and PFOS and both compounds were determined to be less than the method detection limit of 0.67 parts per trillion (ppt). The current EPA advisory standard is 100 ppt with our water being 150 times lower [than] the advisory standard.
The Annual Drinking Water Quality Report for 2018 is available on the City of Hudson website

Meanwhile, I'm going down to the kitchen to make myself another cup of coffee, using Hudson tap water.

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