Airway Heights officials are looking ahead to solve their "long-term" water issues. The city was without fresh tap water for more than 20 days after testing revealed high levels of two different contaminants in the water.
The acids in the water were classified by the EPA as “emerging contaminants” and are present in common household items and heat and fire resistant products, including aqueous film forming foam formulations that were used by the Air Force in fire trucks from 1970-2016 including those at Fairchild AFB.
To flush the contaminated water, city crews removed the water from the distribution system and replaced it with fresh water from the City of Spokane. Thursday, city officials said the water was again safe to drink.
City Manager Albert Tripp said now their attention would turn to contaminated wells in the area.
“We’re just beginning the process,” Tripp said. “We’re looking for a cost-effective, long term solution.”
Tripp said they are considering two options: First, they could change to a different aquifer. Another option would be treating the existing wells that are contaminated.
“What’s going to impact our decisions on that is sustainability, costs, and the best value for the community,” Tripp said.
He said they planned to continue to work with Fairchild Air Force Base on the issue.
Fairchild Air Force Base officials said in a release they will continue to provide bottled water to private well owners whose wells have been sampled by the Air Force and are above the contamination levels "until a long-term solution is implemented."
Tripp said they are working to come up with a long term solution as quickly as possible.