Blades water safe to drink again
Residents can finally put away the bottled water and break out the pots, since the water in Blades is safe once again.
"The great news is we have carbon filtered water going through the town that meets EPA standards. We are way below EPA standards and once everybody flushes their homes in accordance with our public health instructions, they are free to drink their water again," explains DNREC Environmental Program Manager Jamie Bethard.
Just two weeks ago, Blades water was over double the amount of per-fluorinated compounds the EPA deemed safe for human consumption.
Now thanks to the town's new carbon filtration system, it's well below the standard of 70 ppt at 3.4 ppt.
Bethard adds, "We've been telling the town 'your water is better than it ever was,' because now you have carbon filtration. So even things you didn't know were in your water before or never even tested for are being removed."
So now that the water's safe, it's all about getting the word out to residents.
The National Guard is knocking on each door, one by one, to make sure they flush out their home's water system for 10 minutes before consuming.
"What you need to concentrate on, it's the whole house, but you really need to concentrate on your kitchen sink, your bathroom sink. Those things where you have ingestion. Same thing about your ice makers and the lovely ones where you get water out of your refrigerator. You want to concentrate on those too," explains Bethard.
Despite getting a green light, the town is offering bottled water until Monday morning. In order to get it, residents will have to pick it up at the Town Hall.
On Thursday, Sen. Tom Carper visited the town to see the new filtration system for himself and while he was here he made a point to tell everyone that this mishap was a huge lesson for the entire country.
The Senator says that Delmarva faces challenges other areas don't because of the number of poultry plants and farms in our area and although they are great for the local economy, he says they emit contaminants like phosphorus and nitrogen.
Which is why he hopes this situation with Blades teaches residents to get their water checked, especially since that service is offered by the Department of Public Health.
"Cities and towns need to be testing for all kinds of things but a lot of people in Delmarva have no idea how they would get their water tested. And here in Delaware we have the Division of Public Health, part of DHSS and they're happy to do water testing for folks in homes," explains Sen. Carper.
Blades has been testing private water wells and town officials tell us those results are due back soon.
DNREC says that if there are contaminated wells, the state will work with those affected to find solutions.