Navy Shares Drinking Water Sampling Results

— from Mike Welding, NAS Whidbey —

The following update is provided as part of the Navy’s ongoing community drinking water testing for the emerging, national environmental issue of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances).

  • As of Feb. 25, 2017, the Navy has received 173 lab results from drinking water sampling at private residence and public supply wells in the areas surrounding both NAS Whidbey Island’s Ault Field and Outlying Landing Field (OLF) Coupeville properties.
  • As of Feb. 25, 2017, the Navy has obtained 197 samples for analysis. Of the total 173 results received, eight results are above EPA lifetime health advisory level established for one of two specific PFAS, perfluorooctane sulfonate, PFOS and perfluorooctanoic acid, PFOA. Laboratory results have been validated by a third party data validation firm.
  • The Navy has received 97 results from properties near OLF Coupeville and seven results are above the EPA lifetime health advisory.
  • The Navy has received 76 results from properties near Ault Field and one sample result is above the life time health advisory.
  • The Navy commenced Phase 2 of its drinking water sampling program on Feb. 20, 2017.
  • The Navy finished drilling 27 groundwater monitoring wells at OLF Coupeville on Feb. 15, 2017. The Navy started sampling these wells for PFOS and PFOA on Feb. 16, 2017.

The Navy is providing drinking water to the owners of wells with drinking water concentrations that exceed the EPA’s lifetime health advisory as we work to validate the data and develop a long-term solution. The Navy will update property owners on their validated results.

Out of respect to residents’ privacy, specific results will only be released by the Navy to the residents whom had their wells sampled. Speculating on the cause of any positive result is inappropriate and premature until thoroughly investigated.

The Navy continues to work directly with residents, community leaders, and other federal, state, and local agencies on this important national issue and will keep the community informed while respecting the privacy of individual residents.

People in the sampling area have been notified by letter and can arrange sampling by calling 360-396-1030. We encourage residents in the sampling area to have their wells sampled.

Updates and additional information on this project is available HERE.

PROJECT BACKGROUND

The Navy continues to investigate drinking water sources at Navy Installations worldwide where PFAS are suspected – typically at locations with historic use of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), a highly effective, life-saving fire suppressant, which contains PFAS.

In Navy Region Northwest, this included investigating groundwater at NASWI and the OLF at Coupeville to determine if it is impacted from past releases of AFFF containing PFAS, which are classified by the EPA as unregulated or “emerging” contaminants and have no regulatory standards or routine water quality testing requirements.

The sampling will help the Navy determine if additional actions are needed to protect human health and the environment.

The Navy, in cooperation with other federal, state and local environmental and health agencies, held follow-up open house public meetings on Feb. 15 and 16 in Coupeville and Oak Harbor, respectively.

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