Mount Pleasant Waterworks
Update 2 – July 14, 2017
How did these concerns come forward?
Approximately two weeks ago, a group of mothers expressed their concerns on social media regarding the number of young males in a general area of Mount Pleasant (Park West, Dunes West, and Rivertowne) who have been diagnosed with brain tumors. During social media conversations and interviews with media, some raised the question of water being a contributing factor. Following this, some residents purchased at-home water testing kits, and some interpreted their results as positive for pesticides.
After learning about customer concerns, Mount Pleasant Waterworks (MPW) addressed the media and invited customers to join in a conversation regarding MPW’s water quality.On Monday, July 10, MPW held a community meeting to listen to and discuss concerns with customers. The media was invited to attend and MPW posted full video of this meeting on social media and our website.
Does Mount Pleasant Waterworks test for pesticides?
Yes, both water sources are tested for pesticides. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control set testing guidelines and schedules for pesticides. Mount Pleasant Waterworks’ water sources include groundwater from the Middendorf Aquifer and surface water purchased from Charleston Water System (CWS). EPA and SCDHEC utilize historical testing data to determine the scheduling parameters for pesticides in each water source. Due to consistent non-detection in our groundwater source, DHEC tests for pesticides every three years. Due to regulations related to surface water, DHEC tests the purchased surface water on an annual basis. What was determined during MPW’s Community Meeting on July 10th? Representatives from both MPW and CWS presented information to customers in attendance. Following the presentation, customers made comments and asked questions.
July 14, 2017 Update: MPW is continuing to communicate with and respond to our customers. Testing Update: On Thursday, July 13th MPW collected 10 water samples. These samples were collected from various homes and a church. Locations include:
- 1 home in Dunes West – owner contacted MPW with concern of possible results for pesticides after using a home testing kit.
- 3 homes in Rivertowne - owners contacted MPW with concern of possible results for pesticides after using a home testing kit.
- 1 home in Brickyard Plantation - owner contacted MPW with concern of possible results for pesticides after using a home testing kit.
- 1 church located in the Snowden Community.
- 1 home in Carolina Park.
- 1 home in the Old Village.
- 2 homes of known adolescent cancer patients Water samples were shipped to a third-party lab to be tested for over 200 pesticides.
On Thursday, July 13, 2017, SCDHEC collected water samples to complete their scheduled pesticide and three year normal sampling. Those samples were collected at each of MPW’s Reverse Osmosis Treatment Plants. Samples were also collected from Charleston Water System’s finished water source.
On Wednesday, July 12, 2017 and Friday, July 14, 2017 Charleston Water System also conducted independent sampling. Those samples were sent to a third-party lab to be analyzed. Sample locations included: Edisto River and Bushy Park Reservoir (raw water), the Hanahan Water Treatment Plant (finished water), and the Highway 41 and 526 feeds to Mount Pleasant. Responding to requests for information: MPW’s top priority is to communicate with and respond to customers’ requests. Customers can collect water quality reports and data at the Operations Center located at 1619 Rifle Range Road.
MPW has received one request from an interested party outside of MPW’s customer base. MPW is adhering to South Carolina’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The same staff members who are working to complete samples, communicate with customers, and respond to the immediate needs of our customers, while maintaining our normal day to day operations, are also working to fulfill the FOIA request received. FOIA requests will be responded to within the allotted timeframe as explained in the Freedom of Information Act.
Testing Results: Results from both the samples collected by SCDHEC on Tuesday, July 11 and by MPW on Thursday, July 13 are expected to arrive during the week of July 17. When MPW receives results, they will be made available to the public and a follow-up meeting will be scheduled.
July 13, 2017 Update:
- Customers wanted MPW to test for pesticides. WE ARE.
- On Tuesday, July 11, SCDHEC sampled multiple customers’ homes located in the areas of concern strictly for pesticides.
- On Wednesday, July 12, MPW’s staff sampled the area for standard water quality parameters. Results from those samples have been analyzed by MPW and samples are in-line with historical data and do not indicate any water quality concerns.
- On Thursday, July 13, SCDHEC will be sampling both water sources for pesticides. MPW is also independently sampling for hundreds of pesticides throughout our distribution system which serves our all customers.
- During the Community Meeting, one specific compound brought up by customers was NALED, a compound utilized for mosquito control. WE HEARD YOU.
- Samples being collected by MPW will include testing for NALED.
- Customers asked about third party laboratories analyzing information.
- All water samples will be sent to a third party certified laboratory to be analyzed.
- SCDHEC will receive their testing results and then provide them to MPW. Testing results from MPW’s independent testing will be delivered from the third-party laboratory directly to MPW.
- Customers expressed specific concerns over the inclusion of nursery centers, daycares, and schools in testing. We heard this loud and clear. MPW is including these high-density sample points in Thursday’s pesticide testing. MPW is also evaluating continued testing in these locations.
- Customers expressed concerns regarding low-to-moderate income representation during testing for pesticides. A low-to-moderate income representation was included in SCDHEC’s sampling conducted on Tuesday, July 11 and will be included in MPW’s testing on Thursday.
- Customers expressed concern regarding the number of compounds tested for during DHEC’s pesticide testing. Typical pesticide testing includes 19 compounds. Testing being conducted on Thursday by MPW has been expanded to cover over 200 compounds.
- MPW has reached out to medical professionals and conveyed concerns regarding cancer cases. MPW has referred qualified medical professionals to the parents who first raised the concern.
What is next?
MPW is committed to our customers and focused on continuing to meet the needs of our customers by responding to questions and concerns, providing data, and increasing our sampling efforts.
Testing results from SCDHEC and MPW are expected to arrive during the week of July 17. All testing results will be made available to our customers upon receipt.
We are committed to communicating and responding to our customers’ questions, concerns, and needs. In recent days, we have spoken to many directly. Through this open two-way communication, we have learned more about their desire to better understand water quality, water quality testing, and water data. Customers are invited to visit our Operations Center where we have an information table that houses water quality data and reports. We care and stand with our customers in this search for answers that go beyond water. Our doors are open and we are here for all customers.
Mount Pleasant Waterworks’ Operations Center 1619 Rifle Range Road Mount Pleasant, SC (843) 884-9626