Three test wells at OLF Coupeville above advisory level

Test results show that three of 27 groundwater monitoring wells at the Navy’s Outlying Field Coupeville have levels of two perfluorinated chemicals above the Environmental Protection Agency’s lifetime health advisory level, the Navy reported.

The Navy finished drilling the wells at the touch-and-go practice field in February and completed sampling of the wells on March 4. The Navy recently received the results of the tests, which showed three of the wells had levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in excess of the advisory level.

The Navy also tested wells at private residences near OLF Coupeville and the Ault Field base of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. Of the 211 results tested, a total of 10 residences were found to have drinking water with levels above the advisory level.

The Navy received results from 112 samples of properties near OLF Coupeville, and seven results were above the health advisory. In one case, two homes were affected because they are on the same well.

The Navy received 99 results from wells near the Ault Field base on North Whidbey. Two sample results were above the advisory level, the Navy reported.

The Navy has provided all the homes affected with clean drinking water.

The two substances, PFOA and PFOS, are found in firefighting foam that’s used to put out petroleum fires, such as those that occur with aircraft accidents. Navy officials, however, said they couldn’t speculate on the source of the contamination while an investigation is ongoing. There are other possible sources of the contamination, officials say.

The investigation is ongoing, pending receipt of information about groundwater flow directions and hydrogeology in the two areas, the Navy said in a press release.

The Navy started testing drinking water sources at and around installations nationwide after the EPA issued the lifetime advisory level last year. The chemicals have possible links to high cholesterol, thyroid disease and some cancers.

It’s not too late for people who received letters from the Navy to schedule free testing. Call 360-396-1030 and a Navy representative will return the call, the Navy says.

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