MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCBD) — Mount Pleasant Waterworks held meeting with customers Monday to address concerns about water quality.
News 2 spoke with Brandy Richardson, a mother who became concerned about the water quality in Mount Pleasant after her son, Ethan, developed a rare brain cancer and died.
After another child developed cancer nearby, Richardson decided to test the water herself.
The neighborhoods in question are Dunes West, Park West, and Rivertowne, all near Highway 41.
“I honestly was hoping and praying everything would come back normal,” Richardson said. “My kids drink it every day, they brush their teeth, they bathe in it, I cook with it. And everything came back normal but the pesticides. It came back positive.”
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says there is no evidence pointing to a connection.
According to Mount Pleasant Waterworks, DHEC and the Environmental Protection Agency do not recognize results from home sampling kits as legitimate and accurate.
In a news release, MPW says the strips do not produce certified laboratory data. Staff members issued the following statement:
“We are aware of the concerns being posted on social media following the use of home water sampling kits. Our top priority is to provide clean, safe drinking water for all customers. We care about the quality of our water and we are working with South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) to address the concerns that have recently arisen.”
At Monday’s meeting, representatives from Mount Pleasant Waterworks and Charleston Water Systems spoke.
Some Mount Pleasant Waterworks customers receive water from the aquifer, which is underground and has very low risk of contamination from pesticides.
Others, such as those in the concerned neighborhoods, receive water that’s bought from Charleston Water Systems. However, MPW is responsible for testing the water it provides to customers.
Water representatives addressed residents’ concerns, including a the possibility of a different test for the the types of chemicals used in mosquito spraying.
MPW says it conducts tests based on DHEC regulations. Some tests are performed daily, others annually, and others, such as pesticides, every three years. Anyone can view the water quality reports on MPW’s website.
News 2 also spoke with Marie Price, who spoke up during Monday’s meeting. Her son was also diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015. Her family used to live in Rivertowne.
“I’m really disappointed that they go by DHEC guidelines, and that’s testing only every three years. So, I’m hoping they go above and beyond what DHEC wants to do,” Price said.
DHEC will conduct water tests in the concerned neighborhoods beginning July 11, and MPW will hold another public meeting once the results return.