The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) worked with the EPA to determine if there was a potential for the Town of Blades drinking water wells to contain PFAS due to a history of manufacturing processes that have operated in the area.
DNREC conducted water testing and found an elevated level of PFCs above EPA’s established human health advisory. DNREC and the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) began notifying the Town of Blades February 8, 2018 out of an abundance of caution for residents not to drink water from the town’s municipal wells. All three municipal drinking water wells exceeded the national health advisory for combined PFOS/PFOA of 70 parts per trillion (70/ppt). They ranged from 96.2/ppt to 187.1/ppt.
The source of contamination is still unknown, but a Pronco Plating plant is under suspicion, as it has been cited several times for violations of hazardous waste management and was sentenced to five years’ probation for violating the Clean Water Act.
Bottled drinking water will be provided between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. to Blades and area residents by tankers from the Delaware National Guard. DNREC is working to obtain a temporary carbon treatment system for the Blades water system that will remove PFAS.
- Blades Drinking Water Contamination Issues
- Town of Blades Drinking Water Fact Sheet
- DNREC — Proposed Plan of Remedial Action for Pronco Plating
- DNERC: No plans to test water for PFCs in other Delaware towns
- Response to toxic water vastly different in two Sussex communities
- Sussex County town marks 3rd Delaware site with known PFAS contamination