Nov 15, 2019

Connecticut Primary School Water Contaminated with PFAS

A primary school in Canton, Conn., is currently testing its water and soil sources for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) after a fire department training on the school's grounds in 2014. 

Connecticut Primary School Water Contaminated with PFAS

Residents of Canton, Conn. are concerned about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination at Cherry Brook Primary School after firefighting foam was released on school property in 2014, according to Connecticut Public Radio

Firefighters from the Canton Volunteer Fire Department were training on school grounds, releasing about 40 gal of firefighting foam containing PFAS compounds.

That firefighting concentrate was mixed with about 1,300 gal of water, reported NBC Connecticut. Jennifer Kertanis, director of health for the Farmington Valley Health believes there is possible water contamination as a result. Water testing of the wells and soil is currently underway.

“The tests have been collected and set off to a laboratory,” said Kertanis. “But in the meantime, a clean alternative water supply is currently being used at the school.”

Cherry Brook School gets water from two wells, which are located about 250 ft from where the foam was released. In the meantime, water tankers are providing clean water for the 450 students and staff, according to Connecticut Public Radio.

The town was made aware of this issue on Oct. 31, according to a letter to parents written by Superintendent of Schools Kevin Case.

“In an abundance of caution and until such time as test results are available, we have made arrangements for an alternative source of water for Cherry Brook Primary School,” said Case. “The wells have been shut off.”

It is unclear why volunteer firefighters used the foam on school grounds, but the town promises no more training will be done on Cherry Brook Primary School’s grounds.

“We acted promptly on the situation and we are doing everything we can to make sure our staff and children are safe,” said Julie Ausere, chair of the Board of Education.

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