Water Quality Reports

Every year, trained laboratory and water treatment specialists collect samples from over 300 sites in Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. 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 1st 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 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: heidi.yelin@cucgov.org

These reports contain important information about the source and quality of 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: Chala laulau, lliying, 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 used for firefighting. EPA has established lifetime health advisories of 70 parts per trillion for combined concentrations of 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, lliying, 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 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. To achieve this goal, CUC is taking the following measures:

    • CUC has removed from service two additional wells with elevated levels of PFOS and PFOA.
    • CUC is returning to service four wells with measured concentrations below the detection level for PFOS and PFOA (40 parts per trillion).
    • 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.
    • 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

For more information, contact the CUC Customer Call Center 664-4282 or monitor our facebook page for the latest updates https://www.facebook.com/CommonwealthUtilitiesCorporation/