7/17/20

MEDIA CONTACTS:  Heidi Griesmer, Ohio EPA, (614) 644-2160
                                   ODH Office of Communications, (614) 644-8562

Ohio EPA Detects PFAS in Bridgeport Public Water System

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) released an update today on the testing of drinking water from public water systems being analyzed for the prevalence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 

The water sampling, which began in Feb. 2020, has produced results for more than 300 public water systems thus far. The testing did not detect PFAS in 286 facilities and 17 detections below the action level, however, the village of Bridgeport tested positive for elevated levels of the PFAS chemical PFNA. 

The village of Bridgeport uses five production wells to produce drinking water for its 2,800 residents. Bridgeport was notified of PFAS test results on July 16, 2020. The analysis of PFNA found levels at 21.8 parts per trillion (ppt), which is above the Ohio EPA action level of 21 ppt. Levels of three other PFAS compounds were detected below the action level. During testing conducted on July 13, each of Bridgeport’s 5 wells were individually tested and three out of its five production wells did not have PFNA detected. Bridgeport modified its pumping on July 16 to pull water from the three clean wells. This action is expected to reduce PFAS levels to below the action level. 

Bridgeport has an interconnection with Martins Ferry, which has received non-detect results for PFAS compounds. Bridgeport is working with Martins Ferry to potentially activate this connection to supply water to the village until a long-term solution is in place. Ohio EPA will continue to provide guidance and assistance to the community until a long-term solution is in place.

Ohio EPA, the Ohio Department of Health, and the Belmont County Public Health Department are collaborating to ensure that public water systems and private well owners in the area have information about PFAS, water testing, and treatment. Full testing results for public water systems can be found at pfas.ohio.gov. The website also includes general information on the treatment and health effects of PFAS.

Although there are currently no national drinking water standards for PFAS nor mandates for its testing, Governor Mike DeWine called for the development of the PFAS action plan to identify the extent of PFAS chemicals in Ohio’s drinking water systems. Ohio EPA expects to complete sampling of Ohio’s 1,500 public water systems by the end of 2020.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.

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