Director's Letter

Latest Update

Dear Valued Water Customer,

Earlier this year, the City of Dayton alerted the community about elevated levels of PFAS contaminants near areas of the Mad River Wellfield, based upon testing in nearby early warning monitoring wells.

Since our last update, the City began using an updated PFAS testing methodology approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These updated testing methods enable the City to detect PFAS at much lower levels than previously possible and to test the treated water provided to residents and customers. Recently, the City tested treated water using these new methods, results were 7-13 parts per trillion (ppt), lower than the U.S. EPA health advisory limit of 70 parts per trillion.

The City's water remains safe, with readings well below the EPA health advisory limit. Additionally, the City will continue to use the latest available technology to proactively monitor and safeguard our drinking water in coordination with the Ohio EPA and U.S. EPA.

In the last 6 months, the City has completed the installation of 77 of 150 additional monitoring wells planned to enhance the monitoring system network. Testing data collected from the expanded monitoring network will be used to isolate the source(s) of PFAS and to optimize pumping in well fields to ensure the highest quality water is delivered to customers.

For more information on this issue please visit our website.

Sincerely,

Michael Powell SignatureMichael Powell
Director, Department of Water

About PFAS

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are chemicals used in industrial and consumer products since the 1950s and are often found in the environment because of their widespread use in products such as coatings for textiles, paper products and cookware. They also are used to formulate some firefighting foams and in the aerospace and aviation industries, such as at military installations nationwide. More information about PFAS can be found at https://www.epa.gov/pfas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency established a limit for PFAS as it relates to health impacts at 70 parts per trillion (ppt). The City's treated water samples indicated low levels of PFAS--less than 13 ppt, significantly below the level the U.S. EPA considers a health issue.

What do parts per billion (ppb) and parts per trillion (ppt) concentrations in drinking water mean in simple terms?

Parts per billion (ppb) and parts per trillion (ppt) are the most commonly used terms to describe very small amounts or trace levels of contaminants in drinking water.

Consider this:

  • One ppb is the equivalent of one drop of impurity in 500 barrels of water or 1 cent out of $10 million.
  • One ppt is the equivalent of one drop of impurity in 500,000 barrels of water -or- traveling 6 inches out of a 93 million-mile journey toward the sun.

Source: http://www.secnav.navy.mil/eie/Pages/DrinkingWaterConcentrations.aspx

April 2018

Dayton Water Department Customers and Residents,

First, I want to state clearly that your drinking water is safe for consumption.

In February, the City of Dayton alerted the community about possible elevated levels of PFAS contaminants near the Huffman Dam area of the Mad River Wellfield, following earlier indicators of such contaminants at nearby monitoring wells.

The City has also identified elevated levels of PFAS (read about PFAS below) in groundwater near the Dayton Fire Training Center, located on McFadden Street. It is believed this contamination results from use of foam in training exercises. The Fire Training Center is near the Tait’s Hill area of Mad River Wellfield.

As a proactive measure, the City shut down wells closest to the contamination as a precaution. This action was taken to ensure that groundwater contamination found near these two locations would not be pumped or used to produce Dayton’s drinking water that ultimately is delivered to customers.

The City continues to test for PFAS at both locations and at the water treatment facility. At no point has the City found PFAS in the water provided to residents and customers.

Dayton continues to work closely with Ohio EPA and other Source Water Protection Program partners to protect the Huffman and Tait’s Hill wells, to preserve and protect the water supply. The City is also complying with Ohio EPA directives regarding response to the contamination discovered in both areas of the wellfield.

It is imperative that the City of Dayton, the Ohio EPA, and other Source Water Protection Program partners continue to work collaboratively to return the Mad River Wellfield (which contains the Tait's Hill, Rhorer's Island, Eastwood and Huffman areas) back to full capacity as one of Dayton's water supply sources.

Dayton's drinking water has been and remains safe for consumption.

Sincerely,

Michael Powell Signature

Michael Powell,
Director, Department of Water

February 2018

Dear Valued Water Customer,

Let me start out by assuring you that your water is safe for consumption. Now, I want to tell you about a developing situation and the safeguards that are in place to assure you will continue to receive safe and healthy water.

As a preventative measure and to ensure the quality of our water, we maintain an early warning monitoring system designed to alert our team of highly qualified scientists and water professionals of potential risks. This sophisticated, state-of-the-art network is designed to give us an opportunity to respond to a risk before drinking water is impacted. Recent testing from our early warning monitoring wells indicates certain chemical contaminants are migrating from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base toward Dayton's Huffman Dam wells into the "raw" or untreated water we use as a source for some of our drinking water. The sampling data strongly indicates that the contamination is the direct result of activities occurring on the Air Force base.

The specific contaminants are man-made chemicals known as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). These chemicals have been used in industrial and consumer products since the 1950s and are often found in the environment because of their widespread use in products such as coatings for textiles, paper products, and cookware. They also are widely used in firefighting foams and in aerospace applications, such as at military installations across the country. You can find more information about PFAS at https://www.epa.gov/pfas and https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/index.html.

The EPA has established a limit for this chemical as it relates to health impacts at 70 parts per trillion (ppt). Dayton's early warning network has detected PFAS at less than 10 ppt (parts per trillion). This is significantly below the level health risk level. Our drinking water has been and remains safe for consumption. 

Although we are not the cause of this problem, and the contaminants are not at a level that is considered unsafe, we are nonetheless taking proactive steps to prevent the contamination from negatively impacting our water system. Unfortunately, the Air Force has not acted, and that is why I am writing. We are working with the Ohio EPA and federal EPA to devise a quick resolution from the base.

We are taking these precautionary measures to ensure that we maintain exceptional, high quality drinking water for all our customers. We are continuing to monitor this situation closely to track the amount of PFAS being released by the base and will keep you updated when there are new developments. Until that time, rest assured that we are on top of the situation and will continue to deliver safe water to you.

For additional information, please go to http://daytonohio.gov/PFAS. If you have questions, please email cityhall@daytonohio.gov.

Sincerely,

Michael Powell SignatureMichael Powell
Director, Department of Water