S.C. officials testing state’s water supply as standards shift

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says they are conducting tests on public water supply.
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 11:35 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says it’s conducting tests on the public water supply.

Officials say it’s safe and always being tested, but standards are evolving.

The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to release new requirements – reducing the acceptable level of certain harmful chemicals in water in the next few years.

And South Carolina officials want to be ready to meet the standards.

The main focus is on chemical compounds called PFAs, which are man-made chemicals. Those chemicals can pose risks if they’re found in public drinking water, officials say.

That’s why South Carolina is currently testing all 600 state water systems to detect any issues with these chemicals, to make sure they are in compliance with the upcoming EPA regulations.

Officials say this is a good time to remind people they can use water filters, switch out their old non-stick cookware and avoid certain cleaning products to protect themselves from the chemicals.

Director of the Office of Environmental Public Health Frances Marshall says this could be an ongoing risk if it isn’t addressed, but it’s not an acute risk for anyone at the moment.

“We don’t want them to be overly concerned and we don’t want them to be under concerned. We want them to be just the right amount of concerned. And if there are ways people can do individually to reduce these chemicals going into the environment at large, that’s also very beneficial to all of us in South Carolina,” Marshall says.

Officials say there is still a lot to learn about PFAS. To learn more about the topic, click here.