Source of PFOA contamination in Poestenkill continues to elude officials

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PFOA water contamination

POESTENKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Rensselaer County was hopeful after a six-round of testing for PFOA/PFOS in Poestenkill. Testing done near the end of November at 20 properties did not show contamination but a seventh-round revealed three additional properties with PFOA/PFOS contamination.

A total of five properties were tested in the latest round of testing. The county said they, along with the state, have been looking at the potential of multiple, unrelated sources of contamination but have not been able to narrow it down to a single source.

“Even after seven rounds of testing, no source of the contamination has been determined. We are continuing to work with the state to find the source or sources for the PFOA contamination and to get more answers,” said Rensselaer County Public Health Director, Mary Fran Wachunas.

The county said the state is expanding testing in the area of Algonquin Middle School, where PFOA was found in January 2021 after mandated testing. At the time the school switched over to bottled water. The most recent testing included properties west of the school.

The county has tested 77 private wells, PFOA and/or PFOS above the standard of 10 parts per trillion, has been found in 13 of them. The county said its hands are tied and its ability to expand testing without a clear source of contamination is restricted.

“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,” Wachunas said.

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