PFCs in Drinking Water

UPDATE: 05.18.2017
Keeping your water safe from PFCs
Here’s what we know. 

Minute amounts of PFOS have been detected in three of our wells in the Lower Issaquah Valley Aquifer (LIVA). These amounts register far below EPA’s guidance regarding health advisory levels, however, any amount has caused us to take active steps to clearly understand any potential issues.

Here’s what we’re doing to protect your water. 

Through our extensive research, we have identified various options for addressing this situation. With the help of specialized consultants, the District developed a three-dimensional groundwater model to assess how PFCs travel through the water underground. In addition to monthly water sampling and analysis, our consultants have outlined a range of different operational water supply scenarios with trigger points to advise us of next steps to take. The scenarios include baseline conditions and various operational response strategies to shift water production if necessary. The District can draw drinking water from any combination of nine Plateau wells and our surface water supply, even taking a well offline if necessary, until water testing shows it’s safe to resume pumping operations.

What happens next? 

The District supports continuing efforts for tracking the source(s) of contamination to understand its migration underground, and stays committed to sharing information and collaborating with all agencies involved. Your Board of Commissioners and District leadership are also actively working on a sequencing of actions to take should the need arise. Clean water is our highest priority. At every opportunity, the District will continue rigorous testing and analysis.

UPDATE: 09.13.2016

The Latest on PFCs in the Aquifer
District Committed to Transparency and Preservation of Water Quality 

On September 8, Sammamish Plateau Water received new information regarding the presence of perfluorinated compounds, commonly referred to as PFCs, at Eastside Fire and Rescue headquarters in Issaquah. The City of Issaquah released this information after it took soil samples from Eastside Fire’s headquarters at 175 Newport Way NW. Issaquah is set to release a full report during its next regular City Council meeting on Sept. 19.

The District operates three wells in the Lower Issaquah Valley, which may potentially be impacted by PFCs in the aquifer. To date, the District has detected minute amounts of PFCs in two of its wells in the Lower Issaquah Valley. All drinking water test results are well below the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommended health advisory levels. The EPA does not currently regulate PFCs in drinking water.

The safety of our customers’ drinking water is and will remain paramount. Since the discovery of the minute presence of PFCs, the District has taken a proactive approach to protect our customer’s drinking water, and has been transparent in its communications with the public.

As we continue to monitor water quality in the Lower Issaquah Valley, we’ve hired local experts who understand our groundwater, and national experts to advise the District on the impacts of PFCs in drinking water. Our experts are currently evaluating possible treatment alternatives to remove PFCs, and are preparing a plan for ongoing testing and monitoring of the drinking water supply. We expect those efforts to be completed in the coming weeks. We take great care when considering our options so we can make the best possible decisions regarding water quality.

While the District awaits the release of Issaquah’s report, we are taking and analyzing additional water samples, sharing that information with local agencies and collaborating with the connected units of government.

We will continue to update the public as information becomes available.