GREECE, N.Y. (WROC) — In light of recent push from the EPA and President Biden to set a national standard to combat the pollution of PFAs, or forever chemicals in drinking water, Meteorologist Christine Gregory went to the Monroe County Water Authority to see how they’re monitoring these chemicals locally.
The EPA recently set a new standard regarding the maximum contaminant levels or MCLS allowed to be found in our drinking water when it comes to the harmful chemicals known as PFAS.
Chris LaManna, Director of Production and Transmission from the Monroe County Water Authority tells me they’ve been on top of this for a while to make sure our water supply locally meets all the current NYS and federal regulations.
“What the EPA just did recently is they’re proposing MCL’s for those two compounds at a lower concentration of 4 parts per trillion , so we’re already, the water authority and others in New York State like us, we’ve already been sampling for those two compounds and have had to meet those MCL’s since August of 2020.”
The two most common compounds being tested are called PFOA and PFOS, and they’re required to sample for these on a quarterly basis using an effective filtering technique known as granular activated carbon.
“We also do additional sampling for raw water and also for inside our treatment plant here to assess performance of their treatment for these compounds to make sure they’re getting more info to understand how the treatment process is removing these compounds from the water,” says Chris.
With one study done by the Environmental Working Group saying that eating one freshwater fish is equal to drinking one month’s worth of contaminated water, while Chris is not a health expert he says that the study does not surprise him as these PFOS are called forever chemicals for a reason.
“They persist in the environment they don’t break down readily. Obviously if they’re in the water they’re going to continue to persist, build up in a fish for example in their tissue,” says Chris.
This new perspective now putting the magnifying glass on an overlooked but essential human health concern to better understand how to reduce contamination. The Monroe County Water Authority says not to hesitate in giving them or the health department a call with any questions, and you can find the most recent test results of the water on their website.