WATCH REPLAY: Barrier Island Groundwater Test Results Discussed at Community Meeting Sunday
By Space Coast Daily // August 9, 2018
WATCH REPLAY ON SPACE COAST DAILY TV
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Space Coast Daily is live from the Satellite Beach Civic Center as the Brevard County Natural Resources Management Office discusses and explains recent groundwater test results, including tests that were conducted for cancer-causing chemicals.
Brevard County’s water results will be presented at a community meeting from 2-4 p.m. Sunday at the Satellite Beach Civic Center
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Results of water quality samples from four County groundwater wells on the Barrier Island measure well within Environmental Protect Agency safety standards for drinking water, according to lab results received Friday by Brevard County’s Natural Resources Management Office.
Tests for cancer-causing chemicals were conducted in County wells located in Satellite Beach and the unincorporated area south of Melbourne Beach.
“These chemicals are in many household products including Teflon cooking pans, some food wrappers, stain-resistant clothing, carpet and more, so it’s not surprising to find some in the groundwater. The question is whether the levels are dangerous or unusually high. To have more information, the County compared groundwater in residential areas of Satellite Beach to conservation land in the south beaches,” said Virginia Barker, director of Brevard County’s Natural Resources Management Department.
The chemicals, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), are unregulated. But science is finding that even at low exposures, these compounds are implicated in some types of cancer, thyroid defects, immune suppression and pregnancy complications, according to several scientific studies in recent years.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has yet to set a regulatory limit for the compounds. But in 2016, the agency lowered its voluntary health advisory from 400 parts per trillion to 70 parts per trillion, warning that exposure to the chemicals at higher concentrations could be dangerous.
Some states set guidelines for the compounds at lower levels than the EPA recommendation. Minnesota, for example, set drinking and groundwater levels at 35 parts per trillion for PFOA and 27 parts per trillion for PFOS. Added together, this sum of 62 is lower than EPA’s total of 70 parts per trillion.
The County well results are lower than the individual Minnesota standards for PFOS and PFOA as well as being lower than the EPA total standard.
Brevard County’s recent groundwater test results were as follows:
– 26.7 parts per trillion were the highest concentration recorded, and two samples were pulled from this well to make sure the lab analysis was consistent. The second sample for this well located at a residential site on the north of DeSoto Parkway in Satellite Beach was very similar, at 25.8 parts per trillion.
– 18.7 parts per trillion, was recorded from a residential site located on the south side of DeSoto Parkway.
– 6.3 parts per trillion were the cleanest site, sampled from a second residential site on the north side of DeSoto Parkway.
– 6.6 parts per trillion were recorded from a control well in the Coconut Point Preserve area located several lots south of Publix in the south beaches.
The county paid just over $3,000 for the tests. Samples were pulled in mid-July from wells that were installed in June for the purpose of measuring reductions in groundwater pollution that occur as a result of projects funded by the Save Our Indian River Lagoon sales tax. Applied Ecology Inc. is the environmental consulting firm that sampled the wells.
Pace Analytical Lab in Minnesota considered a national center of expertise for measuring these chemicals, performed the lab analysis.
The compounds tested were among 28 chemicals that the EPA required water systems to test for between 2013 and 2015. Neither Melbourne nor Cocoa’s drinking water systems found any of the chemicals during that testing requirement, EPA data show.
Groundwater is used for irrigation and sprinkler systems. Brevard County was among local government agencies that conducted recent well testing on the Barrier Island in response to residents’ concerns over health-related issues, the potential source, contamination levels and exposure risks.
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