May 24, 2016 — By Evan Bevins

VIENNA – Schools, businesses and residents are adjusting to the “do-not-drink” advisory issued for city water last week after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lowered its recommended lifetime exposure level to C8.

A water distribution station for Vienna water customers in Boaz opened Monday, and Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp said engineers began work on plans for a carbon filtration system to be paid for by Chemours, which was spun off from DuPont last year.

“The temporary ones will be much faster (to installl), but they are the same quality,” Rapp said. “Then they (Chemours) will build permanent facilities, and then we will move this equipment into permanent facilities.”

Vienna Wendy’s manager John Morehead pours Dr. Pepper from a two-liter bottle into a cup Monday. Customers are being offered drinks from bottles if they have concerns about beverages from the soft drink machine, which still uses City of Vienna water. The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department issued a ‘do-not-drink’ advisory last week regarding the municipal water in light of a revised EPA advisory regarding the presence of C8 in water. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

Rapp said it will be at least six weeks until the temporary system is up and running.

C8, also known as perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA, was used for years in the Teflon production process at the Washington Works site, formerly owned by DuPont and now by Chemours. Studies have linked C8 exposure to kidney cancer, testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, pregnancy-induced hypertension including preeclampsia and hypercholesterolemia.

Prior to Thursday, the EPA’s health advisory for C8 in water was 0.4 parts per billion. The agency revised the lifetime exposure level, based on protection for the sensitive populations of fetuses during pregnancy and breastfed infants, to 0.07 ppb.

In recent tests, most of Vienna’s wells registered a concentration of around 0.1 ppb.