Point of Use Water Filtration Systems for Private Wells?

Citing a lack of time needed to complete major infrastructure projects before winter, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) is considering the installation of point-of-use filtration systems for contaminated wells in Litchfield, Merrimack, and Bedford.

In February, high concentrations of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was found in water coming from faucets in Saint-Gobain. Since that time, 600 private wells within a 1.5 mile radius have been tested. Of those, 175 have been found to have concentrations of PFOA above the amount accepted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Because bottled water is hardly a lasting solution, the NHDES has partnered with the Pennichuck Corp. to determine the feasibility of providing point-of-use filtration systems to the estimated 375 to 500 home impacted by water contamination.

PFOA, which has also been found in wells in Vermont, is a synthetic perfluorinated carboxylic acid and fluorosurfactant used in the manufacture of Teflon and other consumer goods. A known toxicant and carcinogen in animals, trace amounts of PFOA can be found in the bloodstreams of nearly all Americans. The WHO has classified this chemical as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” and over exposure has been linked to:

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Thyroid disease
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Pregnancy-induced hypertension

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