The City of Sioux Falls is responding to recent reports of contaminated drinking water. They say the water is safe now after a contaminant was found in 2012.
“As a water professional it’s one of those things during your career that you hope you never have to deal with a contaminant like this,” Environmental Engineer Tim Stefanich.
Stefanich is talking about PFAS. It’s a man-made chemical that is found in a variety of places including food, animals and household products.
“In Sioux Falls’ case it was actually firefighting foam that was used out at the airport the South Dakota Air National Guard,” says Stefanich.
Some wells were contaminated in Sioux Falls, but the city shut down those wells in 2016 after it was discovered.
The Rapid City Journal recently reported that water in Minnehaha and Pennington counties has been contaminated with PFAS. This caused the city to respond.
“We have not detected any of the perfluoroalkyl substances in the water since 2016,” says Stefanich.
Even though PFAS was found in the water officials say the amounts weren’t too extreme.
“The highest level of PFAS that we found in the water was 25 parts per trillion. The current health advisory limit is 70 parts per trillion,” says Stefanich.
According to city officials scientists say it’s too soon to tell if the chemical causes people to get sick.