Apr 17, 2020

Wisconsin County Wells Test for PFAS

More wells in a Wisconsin county have tested positive for elevated levels of PFAS

drinking water

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has linked per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in Marinette and Peshtigo to Johnson Controls' Tyco Fire Products. 

The company manufactures firefighting foam in Marinette, reported WBAY. 

According to the DNR, over the last week, seven wells tested positive for elevated levels of PFAS. Three of those homeowners impacted have been provided drinking water by the company. The wells are located in farm fields near Peshtigo.

Another Marinette homeowner was issued emergency drinking water in January, reported the Wisconsin Examiner. PFAS contaminated foam was also confirmed in a Madison-area creek that same month.

The farm fields have been spread with biosolids, which were known to contain the toxic chemicals.

One of the wells tested at 1,157 parts per trillion (ppt), three other wells tested above 70 ppt and another three wells measured just above 20 ppt.

The companies have completed sampling of 98 of 174 private wells.

Johnson Controls is still conducting tests in the fields and to wells near Peshtigo and will continue to update the DNR.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, parties who are doing testing can apply for a variance to extend deadlines to report test results, reported WBAY.

Johnson Controls has applied for a variance but it has not been approved yet by the DNR.

The DNR has also collected 20 deer in the impacted area to be tested for PFAS levels. This spring, Johnson Controls will also test fish in three private fishing ponds.

PFAS sampling in the bay of Green Bay is also expected to be done this summer.

In February, the Wisconsin PFAS Action Council (WisPAC) announced that it was developing an action plan to identify priority responses to contamination across the state, but due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), these measures are taking a backseat.

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