Submitted by the Rensselaer County Health Department
A sixth round of sampling of properties in Poestenkill for PFOA has been concluded, but no new properties were found to have levels of PFOA above the state-permitted levels, county officials announced on Wednesday, November 24.
The results were finalized Tuesday and prepared for public release. The sixth round of testing results was announced as testing is continuing on additional properties in Poestenkill on a voluntary basis by both the county and the state.
Twenty properties were sampled during the sixth round of testing. Samples were largely conducted from sites located to the west of Algonquin Middle School. The twenty sites surveyed registered samples that show eight non-detect and twelve detections of PFOA/PFOS below the state maximum contaminant level standards (10 parts per trillion) for public drinking water.
With the conclusion of the sixth round of testing, a source for the contamination was not discovered. The county and state have been investigating the possibility of multiple, unrelated sources for the contamination. The state recently started expanded testing in the area around the middle school.
“We are obviously happy to see no new cases for PFOA in Poestenkill following the sixth round of testing, but recognize no source has been determined. We continue to work with the state to find the source or sources for the PFOA contamination and to get more answers,” said county Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas.
– Testing started after PFOA/PFOS was discovered during state-mandated testing at Algonquin Middle School earlier this year.
– The county has to date collected samples for 77 private wells, with ten wells tested at or above the drinking water standard of 10 ppt for either PFOA/PFOS. (The previous report may have incorrectly included a higher number for testing). There are five samples still pending.
– The 10 wells that have been found to have detections of PFOA and/or PFOS above half of the drinking water standards will likely be resampled at some time in the future.
– No source for the contamination has been determined during the six rounds of testing.
– The lack of a source has restricted the ability for wide-spread testing.
– Town officials have been informed, along with state Department of Environmental Conservation and the state Department of Health.
“Residents should know the county continues to work cooperatively with the state and the town to provide an effective response to this issue. Residents can call our office at 518-270-2632 if they have additional questions,” added Wachunas.