Residents concerned about water quality despite recent testing

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Some residents are relieved after recent lab tests show there are no pesticides or herbicides in drinking water from Charleston and Mount Pleasant water utilities.

However, some residents are still concerned about other unregulated contaminants in the water that sparked a discussion at the Monday night meeting at Mount Pleasant Waterworks.

It was set up to address water quality concerns.

A concerned Mount Pleasant resident Aytul Cremer attended the meeting.

"I'm impressed with communication how Mount Pleasant Waterworks has offered a lot of information and offered to do a lot of testing, but I do have additional concerns," Cremer said.

The meeting comes after the quality of water in Charleston and Mount Pleasant came into question when a social media posts indicated residents found pesticides in their water through at-home chemical tests.

Those tests where not certified by DHEC or the Environmental Protection Agency.

Lab tests results from a third-party lab in Indiana showed no pesticides or herbicides in the drinking water.

CEO of Charleston Water, Ken Hill, and General Manager of Mount Pleasant Waterworks, Clay Duffie, want people to know they care about their concerns.

"They came to us with some issues and we responded, hopefully when they walk out of here tonight and feel their water is safe to drink," Hill said.

They say they've been meeting every day for about the last two weeks to address the issues that people have.

"The one thing we want them to take away from here is we heard you," Duffie said.

Cremer along with others want to know what else could be in the water, they're concerned about cancer causing chemicals and unregulated contaminants.

According to the water utility officials, the EPA puts out a list of unregulated contaminates for testing every five years. The last test done was 2014. The next tests for those chemicals will begin next year.

"All the three previous rounds we found very low minor concentrations of just a few of the many many samples that have been taken," Hill said. "All below contaminate levels that the EPA may set."

Some residents have taken testing matters in their own hands by taking water samples to local labs.

One man spent at least $2,000 to test for unregulated contaminates.

Officials with Mount Pleasant Waterworks are going to be looking into those results.

"As a community, I expect us to educate ourselves, come together, not panic and maybe do some of our own testing and do what we can along with Mount Pleasant Waterworks to work as a team," Cremer said.

DHEC is scheduling a meeting in Charleston with water and health experts within the next few weeks. It will be open to the public, but the date has not been set.

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