Health department: Don’t drink the Crescent springs water
City water deemed safe to drink
STAR JOURNAL STAFF
The Oneida County Health Department (OCHD) is telling residents to not drink water from the town of Crescent spring located on River Road, off Hwy 8. In a press release Monday, OCHD stated that the spring water was tested in conjunction with the town of Crescent on July 31 for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Test results received late on Aug. 14 from the spring indicated an elevated PFHxS level. OCHD noted that while Wisconsin does not have a standard for PFHxS, this level is higher than the guidance values established by other states. Other detected PFAS include PFOA, PFOS, PFBS, and PFHxA. Although PFAS is not currently regulated, OCHD is taking “a proactive approach to assure the community is making informed decisions about drinking water.”
A sign has been posted at the spring indicating the test results and OCHD’s recommendation NOT to drink the water. Boiling this water will not reduce potential PFAS concentrations either.
At this time, OCHD recommends that anyone concerned about their private well should find an alternative source of water. The Rhinelander municipal water is safe to drink and is considered a known safe source from PFAS. Women of childbearing age, pregnant women, and children should use caution in selecting their drinking water.
The timeline for determining the source of the potential PFAS is still unknown and the DNR’s investigation may take several months to a year.
“There is not currently enough information to determine where the contamination comes from or extends to,” says Oneida County Health Officer Linda Conlon. “If people are concerned about their private well, we recommend they find an alternative source of water, such as bottled water or water from a known safe source.”
PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that have been used in non-stick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain resistant fabrics and carpets, some cosmetics, some firefighting foams, and products that resist grease, water, and oil.
The Oneida County Health Department is working with Division of Public Health (DPH) and the DNR to determine future steps.
More information can be found on the Oneida Public Health Department website.