Toxins found in Upper Dublin drinking water; EPA holds forum to address concerns

Thursday, July 26, 2018
Toxins found in upper Dublin tap water
Toxins found in Upper Dublin tap water: Vernon Odom reports on Action News at 5 p.m., July 25, 2018

HORSHAM, Pa. (WPVI) -- The tap water in Upper Dublin Township is widely believed by local residents to be dangerously contaminated by firefighting agents from military bases in this area of Montgomery County.

The acronym for the contaminating chemical in question is PFAS, which stands for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances.

According to the EPA's website, the chemicals in PFAS are "very persistent in the environment and in the human body," meaning they accumulate and stay in the body for a long period of time.

"This a Frankenstein's monster kind of chemical," said Upper Dublin Resident Mark Cuker. "It doesn't break down when you drink it. It stays in your body and causes adverse health effects."

Cuker was a member of the Upper Dublin panel presenting their concerns at an open EPA forum Wednesday. They discussed toxins in the Upper Dublin water from firefighting foam and what neighboring towns had to do to get rid of it.

"The other three townships involved are all down to non-detectable levels," said Cuker. "They spent millions of dollars out of pocket to go down to non-detect."

For example, the tap water in Horsham is clean now, but at considerable expense to local ratepayers.

Several years ago the wells in Warminster, Warrington and Horsham were taken offline as a result of proven contamination in their wells caused by seepage from the military bases.

Representatives from those townships attended Wednesday's EPA session to say their water is clean because they're getting water from North Wales and paying a quarterly surcharge for it.

They want more subsidy from the EPA and the Department of Defense. A top EPA official says the PFAS problem is a national problem they're planning to address.

"We're in the process of developing a national management plan to address PFAS, to make sure we can meet the needs of local communities," said Peter Grevatt of the EPA drinking water program.


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