Untreated Little Hocking water shows higher GenX levels

Published: Apr. 2, 2019 at 11:08 AM EDT
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Updated: 4/2/2019 4 P.M.

Chemours issued this statement Tuesday on the levels of GenX in Little Hocking Association pre-treated water:

"The levels of GenX detected in pretreatment water at the Little Hocking wellfield remain very low and GenX was not detected in drinking water samples. The scientific evidence is compelling the GenX does not pose adverse effects to health at the very low levels observed in the wellfield, even before treatment for use as drinking water. The low levels of GenX in the wellfield are likely attributable to deposition of air emissions and Chemours has already begun to implement further abatement measures to reduce air emissions further."

The public works director of neighboring Belpre says the city only tests for GenX when it is asked to do so by the U.S. EPA.

According to minutes from an April, 2018 city council meeting, the last time Belpre tested for GenX, in early 2018, none was found in the Belpre water system.


Increased levels of GenX are found in pre-treated water for customers of Little Hocking's water association.

A letter recently sent to the association's customers says sampling of pre-treated water in its wellfield in February showed levels of GenX were 500% higher than in testing done in February, 2018.

This involves water supplies tested before they entered the water system's filtration system.

"However, the same rounds of water testing have shown the drinking water 'after filtration' was 'non-detect' for GenX," association manager Jon Hanning said in the letter. "These non-detect results were taken at test locations in the treatment plant both between and after the Little Hocking carbon beds."

The 2018 sample showed GenX concentrations of 32 parts per trillion (ppt) in pre-treated water. The recent sampling, on January 21, 2019 measured a GenX concentration of 150 parts per trillion. Hanning said samplings taken between the two dates showed those levels had been increasing.

GenX is in the same class of chemicals as C8, which was used in production by DuPont Washington Works until 2015.

GenX has been used in similar production by Chemours, which assumed operation of the Washington Works facility in mid-2015.

DuPont and Chemours have been testing water supplies near its Wood County plant for GenX since early 2018. The Little Hocking Water district is located directly across the Ohio River from the DuPont/Chemours complex.

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