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No PCBs in city drinking water

Posted: September 17, 2010 11:51 a.m.
Updated: September 17, 2010 11:48 a.m.

Polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, have been the focus of recent reports on the quality of water in Lake Wateree. PCBs are manufactured chemicals once used as lubricants or coolants. They have been linked to health issues in laboratory animals, and their production was banned in the late 1970’s. PCBs can contaminate waterways through air or water pollution.

Though the city of Camden draws drinking water from Lake Wateree, city officials said it is important to note that PCBs generally affect only the soil and sediment found at a body of water’s floor -- not the water itself.

“The water is annually tested for PCBs by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, and those tests have shown, without exception, that there are no PCBs in the city’s drinking water,” said city officials.

The city of Camden Water Treatment Plant produces between 42 and 70 million gallons of water per month. The process of transforming lake water into potable water is very intense, said city officials, and extensive testing is performed to ensure the final product meets water quality standards set by state and federal agencies.

Occasionally, algae build-up in Lake Wateree will give the water an earthy taste. It is not harmful, according to city officials, and is only temporary. If a consumer’s water tastes this way for an extended period of time, he should contact the city water treatment plant at 432-0006.

“The city of Camden takes great care in the production and distribution of drinking water to all of our customers,” said city officials. “We are proud to provide our customers with the highest quality water available. We are happy to answer any questions about the water treatment process that you may have.”


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