Related: State investigates second Pownal PFOA site

“POWNAL — Permanent filtering for PFOA seems the only option on the table for Pownal Fire District 2 water customers, district board members learned Monday.

Representatives from Unicorn Management Consultants, which is overseeing the response to perfluorooctanoic acid contamination of the water system, said there have been no further talks with the owner of a potential well site that was under consideration late last year…

Michael O’Connor, of Unicorn Management, said Monday that the firm is preparing a report to the state that will evaluate corrective action alternatives to deal with the pollution, and that required submission is due by April 26…

Before last month, filtering had been considered by the district only a temporary solution, pending a search for a new, uncontaminated well site. However, Unicorn Management has since discussed leaving the filtering system in place and made a proposal to that effect during a Feb. 26 board meeting. The idea was rejected by the board as inadequate.

Board members were especially critical of a plan to hand over to the district maintenance of the filtering system after three years.

Another potential issue with long-term filtering came up during the meeting Monday, when resident Jim Winchester brought in a blackened water filter element from a rental property he owns within the water district. He said extreme clogging of water filters at the property had led to damage to a water softener and a costly visit from a plumber…

If a new well option is not possible, Raymond stated, then the insurer funding the contamination response should ‘account for the full construction improvement costs for the provision of a permanent [filtering] system, including operation and maintenance life-cycle costs for the water system for the duration of time where the well will be impacted by PFOA and/or PFOS.’

According to state environmental officials, the PFOA contamination emanated from the former Warren Wire/General Cable factory building located about 1,000 feet from the water district’s well site. The district well was established during the 1990s, before perfluorooctanoic acid was recognized as a threat to groundwater supplies.

In 2016, levels of PFOA higher than the state’s 20 parts per trillion standard for drinking water were found in the well, prompting the need for carbon filtering. Warren Wire and General Cable used Teflon coatings at the site beginning in the late 1940s, and stack emissions from the high-heat drying process used are believed to have spread the PFOA through the air and, eventually, through soil into the groundwater.”

Read the full article by Jim Therrien.