Dec 27, 2018

Madison, Wis., to Increase Monitoring for PFAS in Groundwater

The water utility will monitor for the emerging contaminants in groundwater surrounding the Truax Air National Guard Base

Madison, Wis., to test groundwater for emerging contaminants
Madison, Wis., to test groundwater for emerging contaminants

The water utility of Madison, Wis., announced plans to increase testing for per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) in groundwater surrounding the Truax Air National Guard Base. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, low levels of emerging contaminants were discovered nearly a mile from the base at Madison Water Utility’s Well 15 on East Washington Avenue last year.

While the Air National Guard has known about the groundwater contamination for at least three years, the spread of the contamination has not been monitored. Beginning January, Madison Water Utility will take monthly samples of the well at a cost of $250 to $700 per samples, according to Spokeswoman Amy Barrilleaux.

“The Wisconsin National Guard is in full compliance with all federally mandated standards and environmental regulations related to [the two compounds], and we look forward to continuing to work with the state, local communities and the Department of Defense to ensure we remain good stewards of our environment,” said Wisconsin National Guard Spokesman Capt. Joseph Trovato in response.

The Air National Guard informed the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) of the contamination in April 2018 and DNR responded with a letter of deadlines, including a requirement that the guard create a plan to investigate the contamination within 60 days.

“The longer contamination is left in the environment, the farther it can spread and the more it may cost to clean up,” the DNR said in the letter. “Quick action may lessen damage to your property and neighboring properties and reduce your costs in investigating and cleaning up the contamination.”

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