Gadsden Utility Sues Companies Over Water Pollution

Sep 23, 2016

Gadsden Water Works, Gadsden, Ala.

Gadsden’s water utility is filing suit against dozens of area companies over pollution in the city’s water supply.

The Gadsden Water Works and Sewer Board filed a lawsuit yesterday saying more than 30 area carpet and textile companies are responsible for elevated levels of two chemicals in the city’s water supply. That’s prompted health advisories from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other groups.

The Alabama Department of Public Health recently informed Gadsden’s water customers that exposure to the two compounds, known as PFOS and PFOA, can lead to health problems in pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and infants.

The chemicals are used to manufacture stain-resistant products like Scotchgard and non-stick cookware. The lawsuit alleges the companies are responsible for putting the chemicals into the water supply.

Attorneys representing the companies involved say state agencies are working to monitor levels of the chemicals.