Water/Wastewater

Welcome to CUC’s Water/Wastewater Division

Water Quality Report

Every year, trained laboratory and water treatment specialists collect samples from over 300 sites in Rota, Saipan, and Tinian. These samples are tested regularly to ensure the safety of the water. More than 15,000 water quality tests are conducted on these samples at certified laboratories.
Before July 1 each year, the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation provides its water customers with a summary of any contaminants detected in the water during the previous calendar year. The Commonwealth Utility News Water Quality Report for 2013 is currently available. This report provides detailed information regarding contaminants, related potential adverse health effects, and possible sources of contamination.

 If you have any specific questions about the report or water quality, please call the CUC Water Quality Laboratory at 670-322-5140 or email them.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DRINKING WATER

 

CUC Health Advisory for PFOS

 

(Tuesday,  June  13, 2017- Saipan,  CNMI)- The Commonwealth Utilities Corporation  (CUC) has detected levels  of PFOS that exceed the Environmental  Protection Agency (EPA) Health  Advisory level  of 70  parts  per trillion in  a limited area of its  drinking  water system.  The affected areas includes  the following villages:   Chalan   Laulau,  Iliying,  Chalan Kiya,  As Terlaje, Kannat Tabla, Fina Sisu  and parts of As Lito.   CUC is  advising consumers  in these villages  to avoid ingesting the water  at this time and until the concentration of PFOS is below the health  advisory  level. Consumers  should   not drink  tap  water,  cook with  tap  water,  or  make  ice for  consumption with tap water. CUC is making  this advisory  action to help the affected population  limit their lifetime exposure to these chemicals.

History

On Thursday, May 19,  2016,   the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued new nationwide drinking water health advisories   regarding two chemical contaminants:   perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic  acid (PFOA).   These health advisories  are based on the latest science available  and help local water systems and regulatory agencies take appropriate steps to address PFOS and PFOA if needed.

PFOS and PFOA are human-made substances and are not naturally found in the environment.  They have been used extensively  in commercial goods (carpets, clothing,  furniture, paper packaging for food) and in materials  that are resistant  to water, grease or stains such as cookware.  They are also used in firefighting foams at airfields and in a number of industrial  processes.   Between 2000 and 2002,  PFOS was voluntarily phased out of production in the U.S.  by its primary manufacturer.

While consumer products are a large source of human exposure to these chemicals,  drinking water can be an additional source of exposure in communities where these chemicals have entered and contaminated water supplies.   Such contamination is typically localized  and associated with a specific facility,  for example, an airfield at which they were used for firefighting.

EPA has established  lifetime  health  advisories  of 70 parts  per  trillion   for combined  concentrations of PFOS and PFOA in drinking  water.  EPA health  advisories  include  a margin  of protection  from adverse health  effects when consumed  at these levels  over a lifetime.

Studies indicate  that exposure  to PFOS  and PFOA  over certain  levels may result in adverse health effects,  including  developmental   effects to fetuses  during pregnancy  or to breastfed  infants  (e.g., low birth weight,  accelerated  puberty,  skeletal  variations),  cancer  (e.g., testicular,  kidney),  liver effects (e.g., tissue damage),  immune  effects (e.g., antibody  production  and immunity),  thyroid  effects  and other effects (e.g., cholesterol  changes).

What  has  CUC  done?

CUC conducted  unregulated  contaminant  monitoring  of its drinking  water supplies  in 2015 and then again in 2016.  In 2016, EPA requested  that CUC conduct  follow-up  monitoring  of its supplies  for PFOS and PFOA. The results  of this monitoring  resulted  in CUC removing  seven (7) wells near the Saipan International  Airport  from service.

Updated   Information

On May  12, 2017, CUC collected  a sample  from the Isley Booster  Station  1   to monitor  the concentration  levels of PFOS  and PFOA  in the water  supply.  Isley Booster  Station  1  receives  water from the suspected  source  of the initial  contamination.    Results  received  by CUC on June 5, 2017, indicated  the concentration   of PFOS was  120 parts per trillion,  exceeding  the health  advisory  of 70 parts per trillion.

Isley Booster  Station  1   provides  water to the following  villages:  Chalan  Laulau,  Iliying,  Chalan  Kiya, As Terlaje,  Kanat Tabla,  Fina Sisu, and parts of As Lito. CUC  is advising   consumers   in these villages  to avoid  ingesting   the  water  at this  time  and  until  the  concentration    of PFOS  is below the health   advisory   level. Consumers    should  not  drink   tap  water,   cook with  tap  water,   or make ice for  consumption    with  tap  water.  CUC  is making   this  advisory   action  to help  the  affected population    limit  their  lifetime  exposure   to these  chemicals.

What  is CUC  doing  about  the  problem?

It is not possible  to take all wells containing  PFOS  and PFOA  out of service  without  dramatically affecting  delivery  of water to customers.   The goal is to reduce  the combined  concentration  from all wells to below the health  advisory  level.   To achieve  this goal, CUC is taking the following  measures:

  1. CUC has removed  from service  two additional  wells with elevated  levels of PFOS  and PFOA.
  1. CUC is returning  to service  four wells with measured  concentrations  below  the detection level for PFOS  and PFOA  (40 parts per trillion).
  1. CUC will test the current  concentration   of PFOS  and PFOA in all the wells presently supplying  water to the villages  affected by this advisory.  CUC will also continue  to monitor  for these contaminants   at sources  surrounding  the affected  areas.
  2. CUC will report to BECQ and the community  the results  of all further testing.For more information  about PFOA  and PFOS visit  EPA’s  webpage  https://www.epa.gov/ground/water-and-drinking-water/drinking-water-health-advisories-pfoa-and-pfos             or contact the BECQ  Safe Drinking  Water  Program  at (670) 664-8500.A copy of “EPA’s   Fact Sheet on PFOA  & PFOS Drinking  Water  Health Advisory”  can be downloaded  hereFor more  information,   contact  the CUC  Customer  Call Center  (664-4282)   or monitor  our  Facebook page for the latest  updates  (https://www.facebook.com/CommonwealthUtilitiesCorporation/).
  3. History

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