The Commonwealth Utilities Corp. has detected levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, in a limited area of its drinking water system.
PFOS is a human-made substance historically used in firefighting foams at airports as well as in some commercial goods. The detected levels of PFOS exceed the EPA health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion.
The affected area includes the villages of Chalan Laulau, Iliying, Chalan Kiya, As Terlaje, Kanat Tabla, Fina Sisu, and parts of As Lito.
CUC is advising consumers in the affected villages to avoid ingesting the water at this time and until the concentration of PFOS is below the health advisory level. Consumers should not drink tap water, cook with tap water, or make ice for consumption with tap water.
“CUC is making this advisory action to help the affected population limit their lifetime exposure to this chemical,” the CUC statement adds.
On May 12, 2017, CUC collected a water sample from Isley Booster Station 1 near the Saipan International Airport to monitor the concentration levels of PFOS entering the water supply. Isley Booster Station 1 receives water from wells near the airport that serve the affected area. Results received by CUC on June 5, 2017, indicated the concentration of PFOS was 120 parts per trillion, exceeding the health advisory limit of 70 parts per trillion.
To reduce the concentration of PFOS in water supplied to the affected area, CUC has removed from service two wells with elevated levels of PFOS. CUC is returning to service four wells with no detectable levels of PFOS. CUC will test the current concentration of PFOS in all the wells presently supplying water to the affected villages. CUC will also continue to monitor for these contaminants at sources surrounding the affected areas. CUC will report to BECQ and the community the results of all further testing.
For more information, contact the CUC Customer Call Center (664-4282) or monitor its Facebook page. (PR)