DHEC to test Mount Pleasant water for pesticides Tuesday

Members of the community attended a public forum Monday afternoon to hear from Mount Pleasant Waterworks about the issue. (WCIV)

Officials with Mount Pleasant Waterworks want to put minds at ease about possible pesticides in the tap water. Joined by experts at Charleston Water System, they held a public forum Monday afternoon.

“We don’t believe there’s a problem,” said Clay Duffie, general manager of MPW. “We want you to believe there’s not a problem with your water.”

Duffie said DHEC testing will begin Tuesday, focusing on three neighborhoods, Dunes West, Park West and Rivertown. He said due to demand and concern, DHEC officials contributed extra money to expedite the results, which should take about five business days.

A number of families are on high-alert after they say at-home water kits tested positive for pesticides. Officials urged caution about at-home tests, adding many at-home methods do not pass EPA’s testing standards and are subject to user error.

“I understand people being concerned but on what basis is their concern? Obviously there’s been some questions raised about illnesses that have occurred but those are just questions, we don’t have any answers,” Duffie said. “We believe based on our historical sampling that there are no pesticides in the water, no herbicides in the water.”

The last time Mount Pleasant water was tested for pesticides was three years ago. MPW officials said DHEC sets the requirement and add the water has never tested positive for pesticides. But many worry three years is too long.

“You said so yourselves yesterday, you’re our neighbors,” said Marie Price, a Mount Pleasant resident. “Do something, don’t wait for DHEC.”

People like Elizabeth Sparks are opening their own wallets to send off samples to a certified lab.

“It’s important to me,” Sparks said. “If I’m spending a lot of money on organic chicken and organic dairy for them every week that I go to the grocery store, the least I can do is ensure that the water they are drinking is as safe as the food that they’re eating.”

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