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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Contaminated groundwater local problem

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At 279 measuring points throughout the country, residues of the industrial chemicals PFAS were searched for. Traces were found in around 45 percent of them during the most recent special measurement program last year. But only at two measuring points was the pollution so high that it was recommended not to drink the water and not to use it to prepare food and drinks. As reported, a total of 90 households are affected in Leonding and Pasching.

“We are careful,” says Kaineder, referring to the fact that there is still no fixed limit above which water contaminated with PFAS could pose a health risk to people. “As long as this limit does not exist, there is no legal remedy.” One appeals to the personal responsibility to have the water tested. The state’s laboratory bus is available free of charge for this purpose.

Water pipe instead of house well

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In Leonding, where the day before Christmas the information about the contaminated house wells, which affected around 460 people, fluttered into the town hall, action was taken immediately and appropriate measures were taken to supply people with drinking water. “Anyone who wants to be on the safe side can use the state’s laboratory bus free of charge to have the water from the house well tested,” says Mayor Sabine Naderer-Jelinek. In cooperation with the municipality of Pasching, she is planning an information event in the Leonding town hall, which should take place at the latest at the beginning of February.

Irrespective of this, Naderer-Jelinek does not assume that the groundwater problem can be resolved that quickly. The solution would be a municipal water pipe for the affected areas in the Jetzing, Staudach and Felling districts, which would cost around one million euros for 2.7 kilometers. A decision by the municipal council is required for this. There would then be an obligation to connect the 80 wells. Not everyone is happy about this.

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Daniela König, head of the water management department, assumes that the forthcoming EU drinking water directive will set a limit value for PFAS by next year at the latest. However, even then it remains unclear what effects the substances have on people, because there are no empirical values ​​for this. PFAS can be found in many areas of life, in waterproof coatings for outdoor clothing as well as in baking paper, in ski wax or in cosmetics such as mascara.

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Reinhold Gruber

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