HOOSICK, N.Y. >> The state has "terminated" contractors that installed equipment labeled not fit for human consumption in homes with contaminated wells this week, according to a Department of Environmental Conservation spokesperson.
The state says the equipment is being replaced. A statement from the agency reiterated that a bottled water advisory for drinking and cooking has been in effect.
"Upon becoming aware of the situation, we immediately began contacting affected homeowners to replace the valves in question," DEC Spokeswoman Emily Desantis said in a statement.
The state has been installing carbon water filtration systems to remove a potentially harmful chemical found in the Hoosick Falls' public system and in nearby private wells. But some filters came with a tag which stated it is illegal to use the product in the United States for water intended for human consumption and that it contained "a chemical known in the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm." The words "drinking" and "required" were both misspelled on the tag, which stated the component was made in China.
It wasn't clear how many faulty valves were installed in the ongoing effort to remove perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) from residents' drinking water. Many manufacturing facilities used PFOA to make Teflon for decades. But it's since been phased out by most major companies and been under increased scrutiny. It's been linked to cause cancer among other diseases and negative health effects.
Officials reminded people to not drink or cook with the tap water if they are on the Hoosick Falls public water system, live in the town of Hoosick and have PFOA levels above 100 parts per trillion, or live in Hoosick and have not had their private well tested.
Those residents have been told to not use their tap water until the state says the water is safe to drink.
The state is "cataloging and distributing all component pieces of the carbon filtration systems to ensure the quality of all components," Desantis said.
"All sub-contractors are undergoing a robust retraining and certification program to ensure they know and follow the established protocols, and multiple sub-contractors that used these errant valves were terminated," she said in the statement.
Contact Edward Damon at 413-770-6979