COLUMBIA COUNTY (NEWS10) – The Columbia County Department of Health has discovered Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) during state-mandated testing. Officials say that two water supplies, one serving a municipality and the other a local school, have been found to have levels that exceed the state maximum contaminant level (mcl).

According to results the village of Valatie’s well number one has tested out at a level of 14 parts per trillion
(ppt) with the state’s mcl set at 10 ppt, while the New Lebanon High School tested at 13 ppt. They say in October of 2021, Valatie’s exceedance was discovered as a result of routine testing by the village water department.

The State Department of Health has directed the well immediately be taken offline with wells 2 and 4 to provide water for residents. In addition, confirmatory testing by the village water department and county health department has confirmed PFOS results also.

Officials said PFOS in New Lebanon was discovered as a result of 4th quarter testing. However, they say tests at the Elementary schools have shown that levels there are within an acceptable range.

In the case of New Lebanon High School, the state has required that the district post the water at drinking
fountains as non-potable and provide bottled water for students. Officials said their long-term reduction choice is to install a filtration system.

In the case of Valatie reducing the exceedance would involve keeping the well offline, as well as looking at the long-term solutions of drilling a new well or installing a filtration system, that would serve all four of the village’s wells officials said. Village officials have indicated they will pursue filtration.

Health officials say that while PFOS at high levels has been found to cause a wide range of health issues in experiments with animals the state mcl is well below levels known to cause any health problems. New York has been more aggressive in setting its mcl. The federal mcl for PFOS is 70 ppt they said.