MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Montgomery County officials say they have concerns about the region’s water quality.
Their primary concern is the impact of per- and polyfluoroalkyl contamination, or PFAS, in the City’s water supply. Exposure to PFAS can have adverse health effects and is considered to be a threat to the quality of drinking water to City customers.
County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman stated, “I have an obligation to the community that I have vowed to serve and that is to ensure the quality of the water they drink. Protecting the health of our citizens is not something I take lightly. We, the Montgomery County Commissioners, all feel it was our duty to work with the City and the Ohio EPA to resolve these issues.”
City of Dayton officals, Tammi Clements and Michael Powell responded to the concerns in a press conference Friday night.
Montgomery County Administrator Michael Colbert says the County has notified the City that they will be “taking the necessary steps to understand the extent of contamination entering our distribution systems from the City.”
“We are working collaboratively with the Ohio EPA to identify the appropriate entry points in the County’s distribution system to conduct PFAS testing,” he said.
Once this testing is complete, the County will share their results with the public.
City and county officials say there is no immediate threat and citizens do not need to cease their water consumption.
“This isn’t the case, but it has raised enough flags for us to involve the Ohio EPA,” said Colbert.
A spokesperson with the county could not confirm exactly when this all began and went on to say that it is too early to tell if this is a public health issue.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley addressed the situation Friday evening, saying that she is “disappointed that this is how the County chose to raise their concerns” and that Dayton’s water continues to be safe to drink.
Deputy City Manager Tammi Clements told 2 NEWS, “Dayton is and has always effectively managed its water systems and we will continue to work with the EPA and all of our partners to make sure that our water quality is not adversely impacted.”
She says Dayton continues to meet and/or exceed all water quality standards set by the EPA, which includes PFAS levels.
Dayton Water Department Director Michael Powell stressed that the city’s water system is inspected “constantly.”
“We continue to monitor our monitoring wells, the plant’s inputs and outputs, for levels of PFAS and other things as well. We report those to the EPA on an ongoing basis, so it’s a continual process,” he said.
Clements said as early as last week, the city provided the county with information on testing throughout the system, and the city will continue to communicate with county officials about their ongoing water testing results.
Montgomery County is an Ohio EPA licensed public water supplier who purchases water from the City of Dayton and distributes it to 82,000 customers, or approximately 250,000 people. Montgomery County is responsible for providing water to more than half of the County, as well as parts of Greene County.
When asked what citizens should do in light of this situation, Clements said, “Continue to turn their taps on and feel free to drink ample amounts of our drinking water.”