Columbia, MO Finds ‘Forever Chemicals’ in Water First Time

Columbia has for the first time detected “forever chemicals” in its water system.

Water samples collected in early December from the city’s wellfield identified these chemicals in four of the 17 wells tested.

The city sources its water from these wells before transporting it to the water treatment plant, where it is processed and distributed to residents.

In Columbia, these wells are an important water source. Water from these wells is processed in a water treatment plant and distributed to the residents. The presence of PFAs in water is concerning although no chemicals were detected in treatment plant drinking water samples. 

This marks the city’s inaugural testing for PFAS in its wells. It is a departure from the regular testing of drinking water at the treatment plant. The regular tests conducted since 2018 consistently showed no trace of PFAS. However, with the recent detection in wells, there’s a possibility that the chemicals are present at levels below detectable thresholds but could still pose a risk to public health.

PFAs are often termed “forever chemicals” as these chemicals are persistent.  They resist heat, oil, and water. They are commonly found in products ranging from nonstick cookware to pharmaceuticals and clothing. The contamination of soil, water systems, and human bodies occurs when these products are used or disposed of.

Despite plans to invest around $25 million in upgrading its water treatment plant, Columbia currently lacks filters for PFAS and doesn’t have immediate plans to install any. PFAS are notoriously challenging to break down and therefore pose a critical threat to human health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that PFAS are present in the blood of 97% of Americans, linking their ingestion to various health concerns, including increased cancer risk, thyroid disease, and reduced vaccine efficacy.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a rule suggesting treatment if PFAS is identified at 4 ppt. However, the EPA’s health advisory indicates a potential health risk even at 0.004 ppt.

Recent research by the U.S. Geological Survey found evidence of contamination in Columbia’s wells, possibly from an external source, raising concerns about wastewater and pharmaceutical compounds infiltrating the wellfield.

The various methods for PFAS removal include granular activated carbon, reverse osmosis, and innovative approaches like foam fractionation and high-frequency induction heating. 

Read the Article Here –

Filtering Columbia’s PFAS with Culligan

By leveraging Culligan’s expertise and incredible water solutions, Columbia could explore several affordable options such as specialized PFAS filters or granular activated carbon applications and reverse osmosis water purifiers. Using Culligan’s state-of-the-art technology we can effectively remove these persistent chemicals from the water supply.

Given the likelihood that there are PFAS in Columbia’s drinking water, the city needs to do more to protect residents, according to the COMO Safe Water Coalition, a drinking-water advocacy group.

You and your family cannot wait around for the government to tackle this issue and ensure your family is drinking healthy water. A Culligan water system can filter out these PFAS for you immediately with no waiting for bureaucracy.

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