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Wausau to hold off on buying more PFAS filters for drinking water

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Wausau's Finance Committee is not going to open the check book just yet to purchase replacement filters for the ZeroWater pitchers that have been distributed to residents concerned about PFAS levels in the city's drinking water.

Committee Chair Lisa Rasmussen says they still have thousands of filters for those that have already gone through the two that were provided.

“Request that the department distribute the 2,000 filter surplus to anyone who needs them. Once they’ve exhausted that supply, if the plant isn’t open and there’s still a need, they can certainly come back to us”, said Rasmussen.

Rasmussen says if they do run out, the committee can always revisit the item.

“We can be pretty nimble if we need to, but I think for now, to just have stuff sitting on a shelf that people don’t have access to… that’s not right either.”

Some filters were requested by residents who have not picked them up in months.

Rasmussen says with over 200 thousand already spent on filters, pitchers, and water she'd like to see the committee wait before spending any more.

Alder Becky McElhaney says she'd also like the water utility to reach out again to those that haven't gotten their filters and pitchers, as some of her residents are still waiting.

“They are not getting notified and they are very angry. The other one is I have some that are not using internet and they have asked me over and over, how are they supposed to be served by the city”, said McElhaney.

City leaders add that if the requested pitchers remain unclaimed, they will likely be distributed to those who replace their lead service lines, since that involves a waiting period before drinking your water again.

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