Central City, Iowa, Drinking Water Test Shows PFAS Contamination

March 16, 2022

Samples taken in Central City came back reading 61 ppt

A test conducted by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources found chemical levels in public drinking water that are close to exceeding safety thresholds set by the U.S. EPA.

According to KWWL News, a per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) Informational Report posted on the Central City website said Iowa DNR tested the well on Feb. 7 for PFAS.

DNR officials tested the water in one of the two public wells in Central City, Iowa. The current EPA safety limit for PFAS is 70 parts per trillion (ppt). Samples taken in Central City came back reading 61 ppt, according to a dashboard of PFAS survey results.

Iowa DNR recently developed a plan to respond to high levels of PFA's in Iowa and Central City will begin consistently monitoring PFAS beginning in the second quarter of 2022, reported KWWL News. This is between Apr. 1 and Jun. 30 of 2022.

The action plan was first developed in 2020 and includes:

  • Strategy for ranking public water supplies for PFAS sampling that may have a potential exposure pathway based on proximity to the potential PFAS use, land vulnerability to contamination from surface activities water intakes;
  • Sampling plan and standard operating procedures for testing the public water supplies on the list. DNR will conduct the initial raw and finished water sampling effort; and
  • Water supply Protocol for PFAS Detection that outlines the next steps for monitoring and notification if PFOA and/or PFOS are detected in the raw or finished water. 

The DNR also recommends that homeowners in Central City take action.

According to the PFAS Information Report, a study performed by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services found two classes of home filters that can be effective at removing PFAS compounds, Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filters and Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems.

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Cristina Tuser