Jul 23, 2019

PFAS Detection Leaves Municipal Well in Lurch

Health department declares water safe to drink after well shut off

Health department declares water safe to drink after well shut off

In Rhinelander, Wis., officials shut down municipal well after excessive levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were found.

According to the Oneida County Health Department, “the public water system is ok to drink,” because the well turned off. Levels found in the well were above the U.S. EPA's health advisory level and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services' recommended groundwater standard level, according to WJFW-TV.

"There is not currently enough information to determine where the contamination comes from or extends to," said Linda Conlon, Oneida County Health Officer in the release, according to WJFW-TV. "If people are concerned about their private well, we recommend they find an alternative source of water, such as bottled water or water from a known safe source."

The health department recommends people do not use Crescent Spring on South River Road for water, according to WJFW-TV. The department currently does not know if the spring water contains PFAS, and the DNR is in the process of testing Crescent Spring.

 A few weeks ago, The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act with language that addresses PFAS in military firefighting foam. Reports July 11 indicated disagreement among legislators as to the inclusion of language aimed at addressing the PFAS family of chemicals, but the language survived deliberations. The White House said July 11 it would veto a bill with the PFAS provisions.