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Health, Science and Environment

Walloon Lake Water System tests positive for low level PFAs contamination

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Chemical testing of the public drinking water system in Walloon Lake has revealed low-level perfluoroalkyl substance contamination.

PFAs are a family of chemicals that have been linked to cancer and other health problems in humans. The state is currently testing water systems across the state for PFAs contamination, including at Walloon Lake.

Scott Dean is with the DEQ. He said testing found the water system had PFAs levels of 19 parts per trillion - well below the health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion.

“Having said that when we do see a number over 10 parts per trillion we do recommend that the water system investigates for potential sources of PFAs in their water system and the DEQ are ready to assist with that effort.”

While the current health advisory level for PFAs is 70 parts per trillion, at least one study has suggested that number should be lowered to roughly 10 parts per trillion.

Dean said of the 14 PFAs the state looks for Walloon Lake tested positive for PFBS.

“Which there’s not a lot known about that compound, but there’s no evidence from the EPA showing it’s a concern at this point.”

The current EPA health advisory level for PFAs is 70 parts per trillion but that advisory only applies to two specific PFAs: PFOS and PFOA. PFBS is not currently on that list.

The Walloon Lake Water System Inc. did not respond to our request for comment on any additional testing they may pursue.