Water Association Prepares for Meeting

The Little Hocking Water Association (LHWA) is making final plans for their special meeting on February 11th. The meeting will start at 7:00 PM at the Warren High School Auditorium.

LHWA is calling the meeting to provide information to the members and the public about the presence of C8 in the wellfield used to supply water to approximately 12,000 people in western Washington County and eastern Athens County.

“We hope that anyone interested in water quality will attend the meeting,” said Bob Griffin, P.E. General Manager of the Little Hocking Water Association.

The Board of Trustees of Little Hocking Water Association (LHWA) is composed of seven members, all from the Association’s service area. “We hope people will come to this meeting with an open mind, and ready to ask questions,” stated Charlie Watson, LHWA President.

In October, 2001, following newspaper publicity regarding a lawsuit in West Virginia, the Little Hocking Water Association made inquiries to E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company about the C8 problem found in the Lubeck Public Service District water system. The purpose of contacting DuPont was to find a laboratory to analyze the LHWA water to see if C8 had migrated into their system from the DuPont Washington Works facility. After much discussion, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) directed that the LHWA wells be included in their C8 testing program.

The results of the first round of tests indicated a very low level of C8 in the wellfield. “We were shocked that the first round of testing revealed C8 in our wellfield. We conduct a variety of tests, as required by OEPA regularly, although not for C8 before this,” Charlie Watson said.

Following these tests, as a precaution, the Little Hocking Water Association voluntarily took the water well that showed the highest level of C8 detection out of service indefinitely. LHWA is actively cooperating with the WVDEP and OEPA to determine how C8 found its way into these water wells. A second round of testing has been done on the LHWA wellfield. Samples were taken from the production wells and several test wells as well as other distribution points to determine the level of C8 in the finished water.

The meeting is expected to include information from the WVDEP on the first and second round of tests, as well as a presentation from DuPont. LHWA set this meeting date because the results of the second set of tests are expected to be available by then.
Ammonium perfluorooctanoate (C8) is an unregulated chemical used by E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company at its Washington Works facility in Wood County, as part of its fluoropolymer-related manufacturing processes. As an unregulated chemical, C8 is not subject to U.S. or Ohio Environmental Protection Agency emission or discharge limits. Also, neither the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency nor the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has established a maximum concentration limit (MCL) for C8.

Mr. Watson said, “The concern is for the 12,000 people drinking our water. We need to know as much about C8 and its effects on them as we can.”

The meeting is officially called for its members, but all interested members of the public are invited to attend and participate. For more information, please call LHWA at (740) 989-2181.

# # #

Media may call Bob Griffin
(740) 989-2181