Fairchild Air Force Base addresses private well concerns

KREM 2's Alexa Block investigates how residents with private wells in Airway Heights can get them tested.

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. – Homeowners with private wells near Airway Heights are concerned about their private water, but many are unsure where they can get their water tested. A spokesperson with Fairchild Air Force Base said the base is willing to help. 

On Friday, the spokesperson for Fairchild Air Force Base said the base is only responsible for testing wells that are in the area their chemicals were used. Though the spokesperson also said the base is willing to help homeowners with private wells find out how they can get their wells tested for contaminants.

It has been five days since the city of Airway Heights announced people should not drink the water because of contamination. Since then, people have been stocking up on bottled water, restaurants have been closed, and the city has begun flushing their water system.

Three city wells were tested by the Fairchild Air Force base in early May and two wells had high levels of potentially dangerous chemicals. 

The contaminants 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.

This map shows the affected area that includes where they have done some sample testing:


A Fairchild spokesperson said they already did testing and notified the people who live in the area pictured above. But those with private wells nearby are worried their wells may also be affected. The base spokesperson said their main focus is making sure the wells they have contaminated are identified and taken care of.

A spokesperson also said "Those who have not been contacted to have their wells sampled are not within the area where past base activities are suspected to have possibly impacted the groundwater at this time."

Though those with wells nearby are encouraged to contact the base’s public affairs office if they have any concerns. Officials said they are will to talk with each homeowner about their specific situation.

If you are a resident of Airway Heights and have not been contacted by the base, your well is outside the affected area.

There are some private companies that do water testing but you will most likely have to pay for it. Testing could cost up to $300. 

© 2017 KREM-TV


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