SPOKANE, Wash. – Fairchild Air Force Base officials announced Thursday several private wells near the base are still contaminated.
Fairchild AFB officials said 50 wells were tested as part of phase three testing of private wells in the area after it was discovered the water was contaminated with PFOA and PFOS chemicals more than two months ago.
Of those 50 wells, 21 still have contamination levels above EPA recommendations. All of them are at the north end of the base, officials said, while all of the private wells to the south that were tested were what is called “non-detect.”
The impacted homeowners can get bottled drinking water from the Air Force. Officials said they will continue to distribute water for as long as necessary until there is a long-term fix.
Another 19 of those 50 wells that were tested will continue to be monitored, as there was some contamination but it was below EPA recommendations. Officials said they want to make sure it stays that way.
The acids in the water are 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.
The wells that were tested are private wells near Fairchild. Earlier this year, the city of Airway Heights had to stop drinking its tap water after testing revealed the city water had been contaminated. From May 16 to June 8, Airway Heights residents received water from Fairchild Air Force Base while the city flushed the system.