AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. - The Air Force is expanding the area they are testing for water contamination in Airway Heights.
Last year, the city went without drinkable tap water for more than 20 days after officials said there were high levels of two different contaminants in the water and urged residents not to drink it.
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center announced Friday they would expand the current sampling area to include more private well owners. The new area was expanded to include some of the residents living north of Deno Road and south of Euclid Road.
Officials said they began door-to-door notifications on Wednesday to request permission to sample drinking water wells in the new area.
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.
Fairchild officials said they began testing for the two contaminants - PFOS/PFOAs - back in May. The Environmental Protection Agency had just issued an official drinking water health advisory, limiting concentrations of the chemical to 70 parts per trillion. This sparked the Air Force to start testing groundwater around each of its bases. Testing at Fairchild began in April 2017. By May, the results were in. Some wells bordering the base contained at least 15 times more contamination than the EPA considered safe
City and Air Force officials announced back in June the water was safe to drink after flushing the system and drawing water in from Spokane’s aquifer.
Officials said anyone living in the expanded area that has not yet been contacted should call the 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs Office at 509-247-5705 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.