On Tuesday afternoon, City of Sparta Water Utility Supervisor, Todd Hanson, alerted the Herald of test results for polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), in the City-of-Sparta owned and operated wells and water systems. The results were that there is no trace of PFAS in any of the city of Sparta water systems.
According to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), PFAS are a diverse group of human-made chemicals used in a wide range of consumer and industrial products. PFAS do not easily breakdown and some types have been shown to accumulate in the environment and in our bodies. Exposure to some types of PFAS have been linked to serious health effects.
Through the FDA’s testing of foods, grown or produced, in areas with known environmental PFAS contamination, it’s clear that PFAS in the soil, water, or air can be absorbed by plants and animals, leading to the contamination of foods.
Last year, PFAS were found near and in the Angelo Pond, northeast of Sparta. Presumably, these came from the Fort McCoy airport. Military bases and airports are major contributors to PFAS contamination, mostly from training and testing exercises using firefighting foam.
Hanson said, “This is the first time we were mandated to test for it.” PFAS testing is very expensive. The city is now mandated to test for it, as Sparta is now over 10,000 population.
Hanson said, as a municipality, they need to be under seventy parts per trillion of PFAS; the City of Sparta is at zero. That is great news for city of Sparta residents. More details to come in Thursday’s Herald.
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