Health Department modifies Health Advisories impacting north Alabama water systems


CONTACT: John Guarisco, Ph.D.
(334) 206-5971
[email protected]

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) continues to work with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) and federal agencies to determine any potential hazards related to perfluorinated compounds in drinking water in eight north Alabama water systems. Based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final health advisory for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooactanoic acid (PFOA) issued last Thursday, ADEM listed eight water systems that had tests showing concentrations of PFOS and PFOA above the final EPA level.

ADPH announced EPA’s health advisory recommending that pregnant and breast-feeding mothers served by identified water systems consider using alternate sources of drinking water. For formula-fed infants, the recommendation is to consider using formula that does not require adding water. Other people served by these systems may also consider these steps.

Today, ADEM announced plans to conduct confirmatory sampling in two systems, Gadsden Water Works and Sewer Board and Centre Water and Sewer Board, which supply Northeast Alabama Water District, Southside Water Works and Sewer Board, and the Utilities Board of Rainbow City. Therefore, these five systems are no longer affected by this recommendation. ADPH will review the test results when available to determine if additional recommendations are needed.

ADPH understands that Vinemont Anon West Point Water Systems, Inc., is now purchasing water from an alternate supplier, and is, therefore, no longer affected by the EPA recommendations.

Remaining affected by the health advisory is the West Morgan-East Lawrence Water Authority, as well as the West Lawrence Water Co-op and any other systems that purchase water from this Authority.

As additional information becomes available, ADPH will make recommendations as needed to protect the public.