The Ohio EPA plans to test the more than 1,500 public water systems across the state for the chemicals, officials have said.
Since February, when the sampling started, Clark and Champaign counties have had the most tests in the Miami Valley with eight and six, respectively, according to Ohio EPA data.
Possum Elementary School-North’s water system in Clark County is the only one in the region that has shown signs of PFAS so far, the Ohio EPA said. However, the levels are so low that no action is required, according to agency guidelines.
The U.S. EPA recommends that PFAS levels should not exceed 70 parts per trillion.
In all, 93% of the state’s public water systems that have been tested are determined to be safe to drink, Griesmer said. High levels of the chemicals were detected in 28 public water systems in parts of the state, she said.
“If PFAS are detected, additional treatment or other source are often required, and Ohio EPA proactively works with our water systems to address issues,” Griesmer said.
The samplings started with Ohio’s 250 daycare facilities and schools that have their own public water systems. However, testing was suspended a month after it began because of the COVID-19, officials said. Testing resumed June.
Levels of PFAS were discovered in both Dayton and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base drinking water supplies several years ago and both took the appropriate steps to minimize the risk to people, the Ohio EPA has said.
Starting in 2016, the city of Dayton shut down some drinking water wells where PFAS was detected. It also has sued the chemical manufacturers, and city officials have refrained from discussing the PFAS issue because of the lawsuit.
The state’s PFAS action plan and the testing will not effect Dayton, which supplies drinking water to more than 400,000 people, including Montgomery County residents, Mike Powell, the city’s water director, has said. That’s because the city already monitors the raw and effluent water at its water treatment plants monthly, he said.
In addition, Dayton recently purchased new equipment to enhance PFAS testing, Powell said.
Locations in area counties that have been tested for PFAS:
- Clark: 8
- Champaign: 6
- Miami: 4
- Shelby: 2
- Darke: 2
- Greene: 1