ATTLEBORO — The Wading River water treatment plant, which was reopened in July to supply the city with the six to eight million gallons of water it needs during summer months, remains out of compliance on levels of PFAS6, according to a notice on the city’s website.
The maximum level for PFAS6 (polyfluoroalkyls) is 20 nanograms per liter (ng/L).
Water at the Wading River plant tested at 41.7 ng/L in July.
The water was not tested in August or September since it was already out of compliance for the third quarter of the year.
The notice said the levels of PFAS6 do not constitute an emergency, but the Wading River plant, located in Mansfield, had been had been shut down since September 2021 because it does not meet the new state-imposed limits on PFAS6.
“In the interim, a self-service bottle filling station has been installed at 1296 West St., in Attleboro to provide residents with drinking water with PFAS6 levels below the drinking water standard,” the notice said.
A free self-service bottle filling station with drinking water below the PFAS6 standard level has been installed at 1296 West St., at the Attleboro plant for residents concerned about drinking water from the Wading River plant.
The “fill site” is in the first building on the right after entering from West Street. Residents are asked to bring their own containers.
For most people, toxic effects only occur after a lifetime of drinking at least two liters a day.
“For older children and adults not in a sensitive subgroup, the 20 ng/L value is applicable to a lifetime of consuming the water,” the notice said. “For these groups, shorter duration exposures present less risk.”
But some groups should avoid drinking the water.
“Consumers in a sensitive subgroup which includes, pregnant or nursing women, infants and people diagnosed by their health care provider to have a compromised immune system, are advised not to consume, drink or cook with water when the level of PFAS6 is above 20 ng/L,” the notice reads.
In addition, bottled water should be used for infant formula, or formula that does not require adding water should be used.
The water department warned, however, that “bottled water should only be used if it has been tested.”
Some of the adverse effects could include problems with the liver, blood, immune system, thyroid and fetal development.
It could also elevate the risk of certain cancers.
“In most situations the water can be safely used for washing foods, brushing teeth, bathing and showering,” the notice said.
Corrective measures have been underway for some time.
“The City of Attleboro has been working with Tata & Howard, a firm with expertise in water treatment infrastructure, to install a permanent PFAS filtration solution,” Heroux said in a previous news story.
“The city is in the design phase for a PFAS filtration system that will be in compliance with the new state standard. It takes months to engineer and years to install a new filtration system needed to accommodate up to 2 (million gallons a day).”
Heroux said money from the America Rescue Plan Act will offset much of the cost of the new infrastructure.
George W. Rhodes can be reached at 508-236-0432.