Oct 25, 2019

50,000 Gal Firefighting Foam Spill in Connecticut Spur Well Testing Debate for PFAS

State officials in Windsor, Conn., are pushing for PFAS contamination testing after a firefighting foam spill in June. 

State officials in Windsor, Conn., are pushing for PFAS contamination testing after a firefighting foam spill in June. 

State officials in Windsor, Conn. are debating the need to test private drinking water wells for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) contamination after a massive spill of firefighting foam in June.

Approximately 50,000 gal of PFAS firefighting foam spilled into a sewer line that ran down to the Farmington River, according to the Journal Inquirer

Windsor officials may seek to use town funding to pay for sampling of some of the wells along the route of the spill from Bradley International Airport to the Farmington River, according to the Hartford Courant.

Officials from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CDEEP) said in an email that they are still waiting for the results of PFAS analysis of soil samples taken from the spill in June, according to the Hartford Courant

“If there is confirmed presence of PFAS in the soil…DEEP will recommend follow-up sampling of private drinking water wells located down gradient from that area, if such wells exist,” according to agency officials..

Earlier in October, a release of PFAS firefighting foam from a B-17 crash at Bradley sent thousands of gallons of the chemicals flowing into Rainbow Brook. Following the spill in June, a state warning to not eat fish from the Farmington River was put into effect after elevated levels of PFAS were found in them, reported NBC Connecticut. A second round of testing for PFAS in fish samples taken from the Farmington River is currently underway.

The Connecticut Interagency PFAS Task Force is recommending statewide testing of all public drinking water systems, according to the Hartford Courant. 

“This has gone from a small-town chemical leak to a statewide issue,” said Windsor Mayor Don Trinks. “Every mayor and first selectman in Connecticut should take a quick inventory of what might be in their town.”

DEEP officials said consultants hired by Bradley Airport “indicated that they believed no drinking water wells in the area needed to be sampled; however, DEEP disagreed,” according to the Hartford Courant

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