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Mar 5, 2016 10:00 AM

Merrimack water tests positive for PFOA

MERRIMACK - Low levels of PFOA have been found in the town's drinking water.

“We don’t have any information at this time that indicates the water is not safe to drink,” Jim Martin, of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, told the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics detected perfluorooctanoic acid, a perfluorochemical, while testing the water at its Merrimack facility. Representatives of the company notified DES of the results last week. The samples were taken from four faucets at the facility.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has not set an enforceable level for PFOA, but has established a provisional health advisory of 0.4 micrograms per liter. Samples in Merrimack measured at 0.03 micrograms per liter.

DES said in a prepared statement that Saint-Gobain uses materials containing PFOA and voluntarily tested the water at the Merrimack facility. The company also plans to test the groundwater.

DES is investigating the incident. While the water is believed safe, concerned residents can use a carbon filter system or drink bottled water until additional testing is completed next week.

DES said it will notify residents when the test results are available.

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