Read the full article by Andy East (The Republic)

“STATE officials have stepped up efforts to test Columbus’ water system and help the city’s fire department dispose of material containing long-lasting and highly toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other illnesses.

In January, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management plans to start testing Columbus’ water for a class of chemicals called PFAS, said city utility director Roger Kelso.

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a cluster of industrial chemicals associated with a variety of serious health conditions and have been used in products ranging from cookware to carpets and firefighting foams and consumer products since the 1940s, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The testing is part of an effort to examine the prevalence of the chemicals in public water systems across the state and the efficacy of drinking water treatment, said Indiana Department of Environmental Health spokesman Barry Sneed.

The first round of testing took place last year, and state officials detected PFAS in treated drinking water in 10 counties, mainly in central and southern Indiana, according to IDEM.

The Nashville Water Department and North Vernon Water Department were included in the first round of testing, but no PFAS were detected in treated or untreated water at either utility.

However, PFAS were detected in untreated water at the Edinburgh Water Utility but not in finished drinking water.

Kelso said he believes there is a ‘pretty low probability that it’s in our system’ because the aquifers that supply Columbus with water ‘are isolated from the rivers,’ where PFAS contamination may be more likely.” …