MTBE Update – Public Health News Release RI Dept. of Health

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Late today, the RI Department of Health (HEALTH) released new test results of the water in the Pascoag Utility District water system. Generally, the results show a significant improvement in water quality at key points in the distribution system. Although the results represent only 6 of the 9 samples collected on Tuesday, November 20, 2001, they point to a remarkable, positive difference in water quality since the installation of the carbon filtration system last Saturday.


Raw water coming directly out of the well, without treatment, measured 1100 ppb MTBE and 0.6 ppb of benzene. Levels of MTBE and other contaminants in water after carbon-filter treatment were non-detectable, meaning that they were so low that current testing technology could not find any contamination.


Tests on water taken from two points in the distribution system showed minimal levels of contamination – below 10 ppb. Contamination levels at the Rock Avenue water tank and the South Main Street standpipe went down four-fold.


HEALTH advisories concerning use of the water remain in effect. Residents are advised to use bottled water for drinking, cooking, food preparation, tooth brushing, and bathing children under six (6) years of age. HEALTH officials also recommend that customers of Pascoag Water District continue other measures to reduce overall use and exposure.

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