Poolesville’s drinking water contaminated by ‘forever chemicals’

Town closed two wells while testing for sources of PFOS and PFOA chemicals

POOLSVILLE, Md. — Caroline Taylor led the Montgomery Countryside Alliance, an environmental group, and spent years working to keep drinking water safe. She was one of about 6,000 Poolsville residents who were warned in early December by town administrators that their drinking water was contaminated with two of her toxins.

“Many of us worked hard in the 1990s to have it protected by the federal government as the only aquifer,” says Taylor. And at that time the water was tested to be of high quality. So we were very proud of this. And protect it, find the “eternal chemical” and possibly contaminate it and endanger it.

The August sample, reported in December, is from two wells in the town of Poolsville that have been tested to exceed EPA safety recommendations for chemicals called PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid). is shown.

Scientists call these two compounds “eternal chemicals.”

They never decompose, so they cannot be boiled. Both are commonly used to make non-stick products. Scientists say these chemicals can cause fetal and infant health problems and immune system problems in adults.

“We are taking action on it immediately, and have taken two wells that were listed as containing contaminants offline for longer,” said town manager Wade Yost. rice field.

Town officials added that people with compromised immune systems and those who are pregnant should consult a doctor.

One possible source of chemical contamination the town is investigating is the fertilizers used by local farmers, including those using treated sewage waste from the Potomac River.

“We are very concerned about biosolids and fertilizers, so we know they come from wastewater treatment plants, and we also know they have high levels of PFOS. , very high levels, astronomically high levels, and I know farmers in these areas, they’re using them, and they don’t know they’re dangerous. .

Taylor added: The town should be very reassuring about it. ”

Residents can attend a community meeting and answer questions on January 3 at 7:00 PM at Poolesville Town Hall.

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