FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 16, 2023 (Butner, NC): During the months of September, October, and November 2022, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) collected water samples at SGWASA's water treatment plant to analyze PFAS levels. The testing and analysis effort by the DEQ was part of a state-wide program to test water utilities. The term PFAS describes a class of compounds commonly referred to as “forever chemicals”, as they do not break down and remain constant in the environment through the water and land. PFAS can be found in products and materials used regularly by most citizens, such as lotion, wax paper, water bottles, cleaning products, non-stick cookware, floss, and more.
Recently, the South Granville Water & Sewer Authority (SGWASA) received the fall 2022 DEQ PFAS test results. Water samples were collected at two sites at the water plant. One sample site was at the raw (unfinished) water location for water coming into the water plant from Lake Holt. The other sample was collected at the finished drinking water location for water coming out of the SGWASA water plant. The DEQ has provided the test results for all water utilities that were tested, including SGWASA, at the following website: DEQ public water systems sampling results
In 2019, the North Carolina Per and Polyfuoroalkyl Substances Testing (PFAST) Network performed statewide sampling. SGWASA participated in this testing project. For more information on this testing and the testing results, please view the following website: https://www.sgwasa.org/news/post/4729/
Following are the results from the 2022 DEQ water quality sampling for PFAS. The test results are provided in a table for easy viewing and interpretation. The 2019 PFAST Network PFAS test results are also provided as a comparison to the most recent 2022 DEQ water testing results.
***Note: The 2022 Water Treatment Plant Upgrade allowed SGWASA to increase the amount of carbon used in the water purification process, thus providing for improved water quality and lower PFAS values in the Finished Drinking Water, as shown in the table below.
|Raw Water Intake||PFOA||PFOS||PFOA/PFOS Total||Total PFAS|
|Raw Water-PFAS 9/26/22 (ng/L)||10.1||19.7||29.8||39.3|
|Raw Water -PFAS 10/19/22 (ng/L)||10.7||23.5||34.2||41.3|
|Raw Water-PFAS 11/17/22 (ng/L)||10.7||27.9||38.6||53.1|
|Finished Drinking Water||PFOA||PFOS||PFOA/PFOS Total||Total PFAS|
|Test Finished Water PFAS 9/26/22 (ng/L)||6.7||15.2||21.9||40.6|
|Test Finished Water PFAS 10/19/22 (ng/L)||6.8||16.0||22.8||43.6|
|Test Finished Water PFAS 11/17/22 (ng/L)||8.5||17.4||25.9||45.1|
|Finished Drinking Water Test Results Comparison||PFOA||PFOS||Total PFOA/PFOS||Total PFAS|
|Test Finished Drinking Water PFAS 6/11/2019 (ng/L)||11.8||22.5||34.3||49.4|
|* Test Finished Drinking Water Average PFAS 9/26/22 thru 11/17/22 (ng/L)||7.3||16.2||23.5||43.1|
|Data Difference Between Test Dates||-4.5||-6.3||-10.8||-6.3|
|* Note: 2022 Water Treatment Plant Upgrade allowed SGWASA to increase the amount of carbon used in the water purification process, thus providing for improved water quality and lower PFAS values.|
On March 14, 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for six perfluoroalkyl and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
SGWASA remains proactive in combatting the impact of PFAS being deposited into our ecosystem. Our top priority is to provide quality water and sanitary sewer services to our customers in an efficient, sustainable, and environmentally conscious manner. We are concerned about PFAS discoveries in the environment and are taking an aggressive approach to testing, managing, and processing PFAS contributing to SGWASA’s drinking water source: Lake Holt.
The authority has prioritized upgrading SGWASA's treatment facility to align with the EPA’s updated regulations, testing, and processing methods. The SGWASA Board approved $41,300 to ECS Southeast, LLP, to perform additional PFAS water testing in Lake Holt during the next year.
For more information on PFAS, please see the EPA’s website at https://www.epa.gov/pfas.
Please stay up to date on this topic via the SGWASA website.
Issued 3/16/23 by the South Granville Water and Sewer Authority
Krystle Lee, PIO & Board Secretary
Improper disposal of fats, oils, and grease (FOG) cause hazard to public health and the sewer systems.
Sewer overflows and backups can cause health hazards and pose threat to the environment. Use these easy safety standards to help prevent fats, oils, and grease from overwhelming the water mains and sewer lines.
The second leading cause of all sewer overflows is grease blockages. Grease can get into the sewer from household drains as well as from poorly maintained grease traps in restaurants and other businesses.
Follow these three easy steps to aid in reducing the amount of FOG found impacting sewer systems.
For more information, please call (919) 575-3111 ext. 101. or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SGWASA Utility Customers:
On June 15, the US EPA reduced its health advisory levels (“HAL”) for two chemicals - PFOA and PFOS from 70 parts per trillion to interim levels of 0.004 and 0.02 parts per trillion. SGWASA is committed to adhering to all state and federal water quality standards. SGWASA’s drinking water meets all current State and federal regulatory requirements, and therefore remains safe for consumption.
The EPA’s interim HALs are guidance and not regulatory requirements. EPA’s Interim HALs are meant to identify the amount of a chemical a person can be exposed to for their entire life (70 years) without it causing any adverse health impacts. Results greater than the Health Advisory Levels do not mean that there is an emergency or violation. Accordingly, exceedances of these interim levels for some period going forward while EPA adopts regulatory requirements and water systems figure out how to meet those requirements, does not mean that public health is at risk or that public drinking water is unsafe. For more information on PFAS, please review the following website link: https://www.epa.gov/pfas/pfas-explained
What are SGWASA's Levels for PFOA and PFOS?
Check out the following information from the North Carolina PFAS Testing Network.
The source for the following information is:
SGWASA Utility Customers:
On June 15, the US EPA reduced its health advisory levels (“HAL”) for two chemicals - PFOA and PFOS from 70 parts per trillion to interim levels of 0.004 and 0.02 parts per trillion. A part per trillion is 1 drop of water in an Olympic size swimming pool (660,430 gallons of water). This is an incredible reduction from the 2016 HAL (70 drops of PFOA/PFOS in the Olympic-sized pool now down to just a tiny fraction of one drop) that leaves many water systems and well water users around the country above the interim HALs. These levels are so low they cannot even be measured.
SGWASA is committed to adhering to all state and federal water quality standards and SGWASA’s drinking water meets all State and federal regulatory requirements, and therefore remains safe for consumption.
With respect to PFAS, water utilities, such as SGWASA, are “passive receivers” of PFAS. We do not produce or manufacture PFAS. Instead, these chemicals are present in source waters that are treated to produce drinking water. PFAS chemicals have been used in all sorts of products that the public interacts with daily. The products range from takeout food containers, non-stick cookware, cosmetics, waterproof clothing, fabric softener, to a whole host of other consumer/household products. For more information on PFAS, please review the following website link: https://www.epa.gov/pfas/pfas-explained
Following the June 15, 2022 announcement by the US EPA regarding the HAL’s for PFOA and PFOS, SGWASA has been engaged with Hazen & Sawyer consultants to assist us on our journey with PFAS/PFOS compliance, communications, testing (we anticipate PFAS testing this fall; results to the public will follow), and mitigation strategies to adhere to state and federal water quality standards. Hazen & Sawyer guided SGWASA in a similar manner most recently with the $14,000,000 water treatment plant disinfection byproducts improvement project that was completed earlier this year. This project shows SGWASA’s commitment to our customers to provide improved water quality that meets state and federal water quality standards.
The EPA’s interim HALs are guidance and not regulatory requirements. EPA’s Interim HALs are meant to identify the amount of a chemical a person can be exposed to for their entire life (70 years) without it causing any adverse health impacts. Results greater than the Health Advisory Levels do not mean that there is an emergency or violation. Accordingly, exceedances of these interim levels for some period going forward while EPA adopts regulatory requirements and water systems figure out how to meet those requirements, does not mean that public health is at risk or that public drinking water is unsafe.
For now, please know that SGWASA continues to work diligently to characterize any PFAS chemicals in our systems and to minimize or eliminate the loadings. Furthermore, SGWASA will continue to strive to minimize PFAS levels while the US EPA adopts regulatory levels that we will then ensure we meet. We expect those regulatory levels will be higher than the Interim HALs for PFOS and PFOA which were announced recently.
SGWASA continues to keep customers informed about this important topic by publishing information on our website, in our utility bills, and at the monthly Board of Directors meetings.
By: The South Granville Water and Sewer Authority
Scott N. Schroyer, Executive Director