BWD response to the 1,4 Dioxane report in Newsday
Once every five years, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) amendment requires that the EPA issue a new list of no more than 30 unregulated contaminants to be monitored by public water systems. The third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule, or UCMR 3, was published on May 2, 2012. It required that all water suppliers sample for 30 previously unmonitored contaminants (28 chemicals and 2 viruses) between 2013 and 2015 using analytical methods developed by the EPA. This monitoring would provide a basis for future regulatory actions to protect public health.
All of the test results are measured in parts per billion (ppb). This is equivalent to one drop of water in an Olympic sized pool.
1,4 Dioxane was one of the contaminants monitored.
1,4 Dioxane is a synthetic compound that is used as an industrial solvent in manufacturing processes. It is also present in ordinary household products at much higher levels such as shampoo (50,000ppb-300,000ppb), liquid dishwashing soap (2,000 ppb-65,000 ppb), Baby lotion (11,000ppb), hair lotions (47,000ppb-108,000ppb) and other cosmetic products (6,000ppb-160,000ppb). It also has been found in manufactured food additives (10,000ppb) and also in shrimp, chicken, tomatoes, coffee and some condiments.
Little data is available on the long term effects of 1,4 Dioxane on human health. The EPA has not yet established a Federal drinking water standard or maximum contaminant level (MCL) for the contaminant, however, many states have set advisory levels from 70 ppb to as little as .3 ppb. Most of our sample results were lower than .3 ppb with a few results hovering in the single digits, well below the New York State advisory level of 50 ppb. Due to the limited scientific data, there is a lack of agreement on the acceptable risk levels of human consumption.
As a suspected human carcinogen, it is suspected that a person must drink 2 liters of water per day for a period of 70 years in order to generate one additional cancer case out of 1 million people. We have taken the lead in remediation of this contaminant.
As it was not reported in Newsday, we are the first and only Nassau County water district to investigate and perform a pilot study on the removal of the yet to be regulated contaminant. Advanced oxidation process (AOP) is the filtration system that was utilized in the pilot study, as it is the only known method to remove the contaminant, with outstanding results. The pilot study was performed in 2014 and we are awaiting State Health department approval of the AOP filtration method for drinking water.
Bethpage Water District, along with Suffolk County Water Authority will be the first water suppliers to remove the contaminant for potable water utilizing the AOP process. Bethpage Water will always be at the forefront of water treatment to ensure the highest quality water attainable at a reasonable consumer cost. Any further questions or concerns, you may contact the district at 516-931-0093.