Delaware Public Media

Blades carbon filtration system will need protection, town official says

Mar 6, 2018

The new carbon filtration system in the Town of Blades has effectively lowered contaminants like perfluorinated compounds in the town’s drinking water, officials say. Now, town officials are looking at how to protect the system.

The 21-foot tall carbon filtration system towers over the Blades Town Hall, working 24-7 to treat the town’s water with carbon and remove PFCs.

Town Administrator Vikki Prettyman says Blades officials are relieved the system is working, but there is one problem.

“We have a bit of a vulnerability. The system is out in the open,” Prettyman said.

Officials are worried about what could happen if the system is exposed, so they’re looking at setting up security fencing around the entire town complex. The town's police department is next to town hall, watching over the system, Prettyman said.

Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control sampled the water after the system was installed and has found no PFCs.

They’re still waiting for test results on private wells in the Blades area to see how many are contaminated. So far, six of the 39 returned samples have PFCs above 70 parts per trillion – the Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory. 

DNREC and the EPA say the cause of the contamination is "manufacturing processes that have historically operated in the area." Officials have pointed to nearby plating operations.

This post has been updated to reflect a new number of contaminated private wells after it was released at 5:50 p.m. Tuesday.