DPW Issues Drinking Water Health Advisory for Hyannis Water System

Water Price Set To RiseHYANNIS – The Barnstable Department of Public Works (DPW) has issued a drinking water health advisory as they prepare for additional treatment of the Hyannis public drinking water system.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a new lifetime health advisory of .07 parts per billion for Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA).

The previous advisory was .20 parts per billion.

Although PFOS and PFOA are not regulated in drinking water, the DPW has acted to meet the previous advisory, which included the installation of two carbon treatment systems last year.

Recent tests by the town have found a combined level of PFOS and PFOA of up to 0.18 parts per billion in the Mary Dunn well.

Since the finding, DPW crews have taken that well offline, are installing a carbon treatment system for the well, have sampled all the water systems for PFOA and PFOS and reestablished water system interconnection with the Town of Yarmouth.

The results from the samples of the water sources will be available next week.

The chemicals have been used in the production of carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture and paper packaging for food.

They are also used for fire training and the DPW believes that the likely source of the chemicals in the Mary Dunn wellfield is from the use of firefighting foams at the Barnstable County Firefighter Training Academy.

“During the many years these were used, they weren’t aware they were contaminants so it’s just unfortunate that our wellfield is in line with how groundwater flows from the fire training academy and it has gone directly to our wells,” said DPW Director Dan Santos.

According to the EPA, pregnant women, nursing mothers and infants are the most sensitive to the chemicals and are asked to not consume water from the Hyannis water system.

Older children and adults are determined to be less sensitive to shorter-term exposures of the chemicals and no precautions are recommended.

“It’s not a Flint, Michigan situation at all, we have this completely under control,” said Santos. “We’ve turned off the well out of caution, we’re sampling the system.”

The DPW said that the water is safe to use for washing foods, brushing teeth, bathing and showering.

Those that are concerned, can use bottled water to reduce exposure.

Bottled water can be picked up at the Barnstable Water Supply Division on Old Yarmouth Road.

By JUSTIN SAUNDERS, CapeCod.com Newscenter

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  1. What villages will or does this effect?

  2. I think one of them is barnstable village

  3. Great job guys. Been drinking several liters of this water daily for 30 years or so. And they knew about this. Real cool guys, you are real professionals.

  4. Get these town idiots to clearly state which addresses, ALL OF THEM, are effected.

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