Reports: Charleston, Mt. Pleasant tap water clear of pesticides, herbicides

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Lab tests show there are no pesticides or herbicides in drinking water from Charleston and Mount Pleasant, water utilities announced Friday.

Tests looked for more than 200 analytes, including pesticides, herbicides and other organic compounds.

A South Bend, Indiana, lab tested 10 samples of water collected from residents and businesses served by Mount Pleasant Waterworks amid concerns posted to social media about the quality of drinking water, MPW spokesperson Dionna Ebeling said. Included among the samples were those from homes of customers who contacted MPG indicating they received positive results after using home testing kits.

For the Mount Pleasant tests, technicians also searched for the compound Naled, which was brought up as a concern at a July 10 community meeting, she said. Tests did not detect Naled in the Mount Pleasant Waterworks system.

"We, the 136 employees at MPW, are committed to providing the nearly 85,000 residents of Mount Pleasant with clean, safe, and reliable drinking water.  Public health and safety is our top priority," MPW General Manager Clay Duffie said. "We conducted this testing in response to our customer's concerns. We want to assure them that there are no pesticides or herbicides in the water and the water provided by Mount Pleasant Waterworks is safe."

Ebeling said the results of the lab tests are consistent with historical data.

Results of testing of water samples from Charleston Water System collected from five sites between July 12 and July 14 mirrored the results MPW received, Charleston Water System spokesman Mike Saia said.

"Every decision we make begins with public health in mind and we are committed to providing clean, safe, and reliable drinking water to our customers," Charleston Water System CEO Kin Hill said. "We responded immediately to this situation out of an abundance of caution and because we wanted to assure the community that there are no pesticides or herbicides in our drinking water."

Charleston officials had their water tested in response to community concerns after residents reported non-certified water screening kits indicated the presence of pesticides in Mount Pleasant drinking water, Saia said. A portion of that water, he said, is supplied by CWS.

The five sites from which water was collected in Charleston were:

  • Raw water from the Bushy Park Reservoir and the Edisto River as they enter the Hanahan Water Treatment Plant.
  • Treated water as it exited the Hanahan Water Treatment Plant, which supplies the entire 460 square mile CWS service area.
  • Treated water at the CWS feed point into Mount Pleasant at I-526.
  • Treated water at the CWS feed point into Mount Pleasant at Highway 41, which serves the general area of the Rivertowne, Park West and Dunes West communities where recent concerns were concentrated.

"Eurofins Eaton Analytical, the only lab certified by SCDHEC to test for this extensive battery of pesticides and herbicides, analyzed CWS samples at its South Bend, Indiana facility," Saia said. "All samples tested negative for pesticides and herbicides."

"Eurofins results included the presence of three Trihalmoethane (THM) analytes, which are not pesticides or herbicides; instead, they are very common cloramine/clorine disinfection by-products consistently found in water systems that source their product from surface water," Saia said. "The CWS total THM level was 12.3 parts per billion, far below the DHEC and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulatory limit of 80 ppb locational running average."

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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