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  • Carolinians United

South Carolina Drinking Water Results for PFA Contamination

Updated: Dec 20, 2022

In August, 2020, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control BOW staff conducted a water study on raw water that is supplied by surface waters for possible PFAS contamination. PFAS are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances that are manufactured pollutants that do not degrade easily in the environment and may cause negative health effects in humans.

Health advisory levels established by the U.S. EPA for drinking water are

  • PFOA: 0.004 parts per trillion (ppt)

  • PFOS: 0.02 ppt

  • GenX chemicals: 10 ppt

  • PFBS: 2,000 ppt

A summary of the results and a link to the complete study is listed below.

"All samples were collected from finished water by SCDHEC staff at each treatment plant immediately prior to entering the distribution system", per SCDHEC.

PFOA = perfluorooctanoic acid; PFOS = perfluorooctanesulfonic acid



Name

Est. Customers Served

Source/Basin

Sample Date

PFOA USEPA Method 537.1

PFOS USEPA Method 537.1

PFOA USEPA Method 533

PFOS USEPA Method 533

Catawba River

173,056

Catawba

6/17/20

2.6

2.6

3.3

3.1

Camden

16,024

Lake Watertree/ Catawba

6/9/20

​3.2

4.2

3.3

3.1

Chester Metro

14,002

Catawba

6/17/20

2.2

2.5

3.1

3.6

Florence

70,925

Great Pee Dee River

6/9/20

3.5

5.7

7.1

4.8

Lugoff-Elgin

20,584

Lake Watertree/ Catawba

6/6/20

3.4

4.3

5.7

4.3

Union

21,505

Broad River - Raw Water Reservoir

6/17/20

3.6

3.9

5.1

3.5

Winnsboro

13,373

Broad River - Mills Creek Reservoir

6/17/20

Not Detected

3.3

4.7

Not Detected

Other PFAS found besides PFOA and PFOS.

  • Catawba River: PFHxA (3.5ppt)

  • Camden: PFHxA (3.2)

  • Chester Metro: PFHxA (2.7)

  • Florence: PFBS (2.2) and PFHxA (3.5)

  • Lugoff-Elgin: PFHxA (3.2)

  • Union: PFBS (2.3), PFHxA (4.3) and PFHpA (2.4)

  • Winnsboro: PFHxA (2.3) and PFHxS (3.4)

Rock Hill, SC drinking water utility supply comes from Lake Wylie and supplies roughly 123,399 people. PFOA's as high as 4.02 ng/L ppt and PFOS as high as 4.47 ng/L ppt were found with the EPA's 533 method for raw water in March of 2020.

 

References

American Cancer Society Medical and Editorial Content Team

Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS), and Related Chemicals, Updated 2022.

https://www.cancer.org/healthy/cancer-causes/chemicals/teflon-and-perfluorooctanoic-acid-pfoa.html#:~:text=However%2C%20the%20EPA%20has%20established,PFOS%3A%200.02%20ppt

S.C. DHEC

PFAS Drinking Water Sampling Results, 2021.

https://scdhec.gov/environment/polyfluoroalkyl-substances-pfas/pfas-bureau-water/pfas-drinking-water-sampling-results

U.S. EPA

Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFAS Fact Sheet for Communities, 2022.

https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2022-06/drinking-water-ha-pfas-factsheet-communities.pdf

National Library of Medicine

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substance Toxicity and Human Health Review: Current State of Knowledge and Strategies for Informing Future Research, 2021, 2022.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33017053/



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