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DNREC, DPH are providing the Town of Blades with drinking water after municipal wells are found to have elevated level of perfluorinated compounds

Date Posted: Friday, February 9th, 2018
Categories:  Delaware Health and Social Services Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances DNREC Public Health Sussex County

DOVER – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) began providing bottled water Friday for drinking and cooking to residents of the Town of Blades in Sussex County. This response comes after all three of the town’s drinking water wells returned concentrations of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) above the human health advisory level (70 parts per trillion) following recent sampling by DNREC at the request of the US Environmental Protection Agency.

DNREC worked with EPA in sampling the wells given their proximity to potential sources of PFCs from historical industrial processes in the area. Water from the Blades wells that were sampled is considered safe for use by residents for bathing and laundry. Bottled water was to be delivered Friday morning to the Blades Elementary School and four day care centers in the area, and also was being provided by noon Friday to all Blades residents via delivery at the Blades Fire Hall.

Alternative sources of drinking and cooking water will be provided until a permanent solution is in place. Water will be supplied to the Town of Blades by DNREC and DPH out of an abundance of caution until additional work can determine the extent of PFC contamination in the municipal wells.

Though PFCs are not regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, DPH is working with DNREC to minimize any potential health impacts to the community. Long-term exposure to perfluorooctanoicacid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) can affect pregnant women and infants and cause cancer and liver and immune system impacts. While much research has been conducted on laboratory animals, the accompanying research related to humans is more limited.

MEDIA CONTACT: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

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