Cleveland Heights no longer using well where pollutant detected in water

Cleveland Heights no longer using well where pollutant detected in water

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Environmental Working Group, in partnership with Northeastern University, has released an online interactive map that actively shows all EPA testing that, at a minimum, shows concern for drinking water contamination.

While the map shows areas like Flint, Michigan, that have had to battle major lead contamination, the map largely focuses on what are called fluorinated toxic chemicals, or PFCs and PFASs. The majority of the contaminated sites, like in southeastern Ohio, can be connected to chemicals like Teflon, used for non-stick applications.

In that case, along with West Virginia, DuPont settled with those families impacted and agreed to pay $671 million.

Using the map Cleveland 19 found only one alert in northeast Ohio.

A test between 2014-2015 from the Cleveland Heights PWS suggests one out of three tests showed levels of PFOS, which is Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid. PFOS is defined as a global pollutant and a key ingredient in Scotchgard, created by 3M.

Cleveland 19 reached out to EWG to see just how bad the test was in Cleveland Heights.

"One test had a detection of 400 ppt for PFOS -- 400ppt is one of a higher concentration for PFOS," said David Andrews, Ph.D., a senior scientist at EWG. "It is approximately six times above the EPA health advisory level."

As a point of reference the state of Vermont set a limit of 20 ppt for PFOS.

Dr. Andrews said that if the local utility no longer draws water from that specific well then there would be a slightly lower concern.

"These chemicals are extremely persistent in the environment and do not break down making it imperative to identify and clean up the contaminated sites," he said.

At this time there is no ongoing requirement by the EPA to test for the chemical, but Andrews isn't happy with that.

"The source of the contamination should be identified and action should be taken to clean-up the pollution so that it does not continue to contaminant drinking water in the future," he said.

For a look at the interactive map click or tap here.

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