Traces of firefighting chemical show in town well testing

Results from the Town of Coupeville’s independent testing of its water supply for Navy firefighting chemicals at Keystone and Fort Casey wells came back this week.

Mayor Molly Hughes said in a press release today that one of the two chemicals tested for was found at the town’s Keystone well.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s lifetime health advisory level recommends that the combination of the two compounds, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), in drinking water should not exceed 70 parts per trillion.

Perfluorooctane sulfonate was not detected in any of the four wells tested.

“No PFOA was detected in the three wells at Fort Casey,” Hughes said in the press release. “Two different samples were taken at the Keystone well and showed PFOA at 62 ppt and 59 ppt.”

The independent testing was conducted with the assistance of the Washington State Department of Health, and also included testing the town’s water at the entry point to the town’s distribution system after water from all four well has been blended.

Two different samples show perfluorooctanoic acid registering at 25 ppt and 27 ppt.

All results, both at the Keystone well and at the point to distribution, were below the EPA’s lifetime health advisory level, the release states.

“This week, the Navy took separate samples from our four wells, and at entry point to distribution,” Hughes said. “Their results should be available shortly. We anticipate this redundancy in testing will further verify the town’s independent testing.”

“Although the town wells tested below the EPA’s lifetime health advisory levels, for these two non-regulated compounds, we will continue to work with our public health partners in Island County and the state Department of Health to determine what steps, if any, are needed to monitor the water provided by the Town of Coupeville.”