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Water District Shuts Down Well Due to PFAS Contamination

Press Release

The Sanford Water District has discontinued using one of its six active groundwater sources of supply after recent test samples exceeded the Maine drinking water limit for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

“The excessive rain we’ve had over the summer appears to possibly have affected some of our groundwater, increasing the exposure level to these contaminants,” said David Parent, superintendent of the water district.

PFAS comprises synthetic substances that many industries have manufactured and used since the 1940s. Thousands of PFAS compounds are utilized in countless consumer products, such as nonstick cookware, clothing, fast food packaging, carpeting, personal care and cosmetic products, and firefighting foams.

On September 21, 2023, the Sanford Water District received PFAS results on three active water supply sources that 2022 water quality tests detected PFAS but within the allowable limit. (The district’s three other active sources had no detection of PFAS when tested last fall.) Two of those sources remain within the allowable limit, though they tested higher for PFAS than 2022 levels. The COBB-2 source exceeded the maximum level for PFAS compounds, and the Sanford Water District immediately shut down pumping operations there on September 21.

The Sanford Water District is committed to providing safe drinking water and will continue to follow PFAS regulations as they develop. “I always remind people that most water district employees—including myself—also live here in Sanford,” Parent said. “Our families, friends, and neighbors are all relying on us to keep Sanford water safe.”

The district proactively took the Cobb 2 well offline immediately, several days before receiving guidance from the Maine Drinking Water Program. The water district expects to begin reviewing new treatment options to reinstate the now-offline source. The district’s primary goal remains the welfare and peace of mind of community members.

For more information, visit sanfordwater.org or call the Sanford Water District office at (207) 324-2312.

Here is a link to the full press release on our website: https://www.sanfordwater.org/swd-responds-quickly-to-pfas

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