Tuesday, July 22, 2008

PCBs in Port Ewen water?

I just saw this in the news today. State Department of Health is apparently testing drinking water supplies up and down the Hudson to get baseline data before the dredging of PCBs from the upper Hudson begins next year. Low-level PCBs were found in Port Ewen's drinking water, as well as in most of the other community supplies that draw from the Hudson (I don't see Highland or Hyde Park on the list, which is odd, since Poughkeepsie and Rhinebeck are also there, and presumably would be using the same treatment and drawing from the same general spots in the river). The concentration of PCBs detected is within federal drinking water quality standards, so presumably not something to worry about... Though I'd prefer PCB-free drinking water, myself.

When I was writing about the PCB issue for the Poughkeepsie Journal, I was always told by water treatment officials that PCBs could be detected in raw water, but that they were generally removed during filtration. It's not that there's a specific process that removes them chemically, but because they tend to adhere to sediment and sediment is removed, the finished drinking water tends to be PCB-free. The news story says the PCBs were found in "drinking water" which I would interpret as finished treated water, but it's a point I'd like clarified.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Another report on this issue, which focused only on Poughkeepsie and Rhinebeck, stated that tests were done of both raw and treated water: