Berkeley County is among eight communities across the United States that are part of a recent government assessment of human exposure to chemicals that have contaminated the water supply in Martinsburg.
The assessments are specifically examining human exposure to the chemical, PFAS.
Water filtration plants that are near factories, airports or military sites are at a much higher risk of developing these chemicals in their water.
The big springs water filtration plant in Martinsburg was affected by these chemicals. Their well site is less than a mile from the nearby airport, which was a factor in how the contamination made its way into the water.
Stephen Knipe, Utilities Director for the City of Martinsburg said, “With our new treatment system here, we were able to bring part of this plant back up online with a new activated carbon system and that removes all the PFAS and PFOA out of the water.”
The carbon tanks hold 40,000 pounds of activated carbon which absorbs unwanted chemicals out of the water. It treats up to 700,000 gallons of water each day.