Some concerned about Mount Pleasant water after at-home test kits show pesticide presence


MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- “It's scary. That's all my kids drink is water. I don't buy juice, I'm trying to be healthy... 'no sugar let’s drink water.' Is the water healthy? Now I’m wondering, is it?"

Is the water in Mount Pleasant safe to drink? It's a question people are asking after 11 people were diagnosed with tumors in the same area.

It’s a topic buzzing all over social media. A number of families have gone out and purchased their own testing kits, and their results have left them thirsty for answers.

"What we believe is the water is safe and meets all the EPA and state standards," Clay Duffie, general manager of Mount Pleasant Waterworks, says.

In an impromptu Sunday morning press conference, Duffie answered questions people have been asking on social media.

"We started wondering how often is our water tested?" Brandy Richardson, a Mt. Pleasant resident asked.

Richardson’s son Ethan died from a rare brain cancer in 2014. He was just 9-years-old. Then, she found out about several other diagnoses in Mt. Pleasant.

"We don't know at this point if it's environmental that's causing a lot of cancer and autoimmune issues in the area or if it's a coincidence. That's what we're trying to get to the bottom of," Richardson said.

Searching for answers, Richardson tested her water.

"The little Amazon kit that I got said positive for pesticides in my water, and I have had a lot of people in this area message me with the same results. Nothing else was positive but pesticides was," Richardson said.

Duffie says, "I can't say whether or not their product is good or bad, only that we will not recognize those as official sampling results."

He says they test the water every three years.

"It's been determined in 2014 that there's absolutely no pesticides in our water. Charleston Water System was tested in 2016 and the results were the same as ours," Duffie said.

Richardson said every three years isn't good enough.

"You test your pool weekly, why would you not test the water you drink more often," Richardson said.

"If they want us to test their home, we will coordinate that sampling. But, we would require them to pay for the sampling results," Duffie said.

He said it costs about $100.

"I don't think that's right. I pay for it every month already. It's supposed to be clean," Richardson said.

She said her test results and waterworks responses just leave her with more questions.

`"This is Ethan’s legacy to me, to protect other kids in this area. If it comes back positive for pesticides I want answers," Richardson said.

Mount Pleasant Waterworks is holding a public meeting Monday at 1:30 where they will be answering any questions customers have.

They say DHEC will be testing the water in different sampling locations around Mount Pleasant in the next 10 days and those results should be back in about two weeks.

We will continue to follow this story.

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