MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCBD) — Mount Pleasant Waterworks issued the following update concerning water quality concerns:
Water Quality Concerns Surrounding Pesticides and Cancer
Update 1 – July 13, 2017
How did these concerns come forward? Approximately two weeks ago, a group of mothers
expressed their concerns on social media regarding the number of young males in a general area of
Mount Pleasant (Park West, Dunes West, and Rivertowne) who have been diagnosed with brain
tumors. During social media conversations and interviews with media, some raised the question of
water being a contributing factor. Following this, some residents purchased at-home water testing
kits, and some interpreted their results as positive for pesticides.
After learning about customer concerns, Mount Pleasant Waterworks (MPW) addressed the media
and invited customers to join in a conversation regarding MPW’s water quality. On Monday, July 10th,
MPW held a community meeting to listen to and discuss concerns with customers. The media was
invited to attend and MPW posted full video of this meeting on social media and our website.
Does Mount Pleasant Waterworks test for pesticides? Yes, both water sources are tested for
pesticides. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and South Carolina Department of Health
and Environmental Control set testing guidelines and schedules for pesticides. Mount Pleasant
Waterworks’ water sources include groundwater from the Middendorf Aquifer and surface water
purchased from Charleston Water System (CWS).
EPA and SCDHEC utilize historical testing data to determine the scheduling parameters for
pesticides in each water source. Due to consistent non-detection in our groundwater source, DHEC
tests for pesticides every three years. Due to regulations related to surface water, DHEC tests the
purchased surface water on an annual basis.
What was determined during MPW’s Community Meeting on July 10th? Representatives from
both MPW and CWS presented information to customers in attendance. Following the presentation,
customers made comments and asked questions.
July 13, 2017 Update:
Customers wanted MPW to test for pesticides. WE ARE.
o On Tuesday, July 11, SCDHEC sampled multiple customers’ homes located in the
areas of concern strictly for pesticides.
o On Wednesday, July 12, MPW’s staff sampled the area for standard water quality
parameters. Results from those samples have been analyzed by MPW and samples are
in-line with historical data and do not indicate any water quality concerns.
o On Thursday, July 13, SCDHEC will be sampling both water sources for pesticides.
MPW is also independently sampling for hundreds of pesticides throughout our
distribution system which serves our all customers.
During the Community Meeting, one specific compound brought up by customers was NALED,
a compound utilized for mosquito control. WE HEARD YOU.
OUR MISSION: To provide our customers with water and
wastewater services of exceptional quality and value, while
protecting public health and the environment.
o Samples being collected by MPW will include testing for NALED.
Customers asked about third party laboratories analyzing information.
o All water samples will be sent to a third party certified laboratory to be analyzed.
SCDHEC will receive their testing results and then provide them to MPW. Testing results from
MPW’s independent testing will be delivered from the third-party laboratory directly to MPW.
Customers expressed specific concerns over the inclusion of nursery centers, daycares, and
schools in testing. We heard this loud and clear. MPW is including these high-density sample
points in Thursday’s pesticide testing. MPW is also evaluating continued testing in these
Customers expressed concerns regarding low-to-moderate income representation during
testing for pesticides. A low-to-moderate income representation was included in SCDHEC’s
sampling conducted on Tuesday, July 11th and will be included in MPW’s testing on Thursday.
Customers expressed concern regarding the number of compounds tested for during DHEC’s
pesticide testing. Typical pesticide testing includes 19 compounds. Testing being conducted
on Thursday by MPW has been expanded to cover over 200 compounds.
MPW has reached out to medical professionals and conveyed concerns regarding cancer
cases. MPW has referred qualified medical professionals to the parents who first raised the
What is next? MPW is committed to our customers and focused on continuing to meet the needs
of our customers by responding to questions and concerns, providing data, and increasing our
Testing results from SCDHEC and MPW are expected to arrive during the week of July 17th. All
testing results will be made available to our customers upon receipt.
We are committed to communicating and responding to our customers’ questions, concerns, and
needs. In recent days, we have spoken to many directly. Through this open two-way communication,
we have learned more about their desire to better understand water quality, water quality testing, and
water data. Customers are invited to visit our Operations Center where we have an information table
that houses water quality data and reports.
We care and stand with our customers in this search for answers that go beyond water. Our doors
are open and we are here for all customers.