Navy: Two wells near Ault Field base contaminated

The Navy says it has identified two additional wells contaminated with a chemical found in a certain type of firefighting foam.

This time the Navy was testing wells near the neighborhood of Area 6, a closed-down landfill on the Ault Field base of Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, for the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

The Navy sampled 14 drinking wells and 13 groundwater wells. So far, the Navy received preliminary results for nine drinking water wells and three groundwater wells. The results showed that two drinking water wells contained the chemicals in an amount above the lifetime advisory level established by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Navy provided the two residences just outside the base with bottled drinking water within 24 hours of receiving the results, the Navy said.

The Navy also tested for 1,4-dioxane and vinyl chloride. The preliminary results were back from 13 drinking water wells and three groundwater. None of the tests showed levels beyond what is considered safe.

The Navy previously tested residential wells around Outlying Field Coupeville and Ault Field and identified exceedances. Those families have also been supplied with bottled drinking water.

Area 6 is a 260-acre site located in the southeast corner of Ault Field on North Whidbey.

A 1993 “Superfund Record of Decision” states that 2.2 million gallons of liquids and sludge, between 300,000 and 700,000 gallons of acids and solvents, an estimated 100,000 to 600,000 gallons of oily sludge, and unknown quantities of oils, asbestos and other hazardous waste were dumped at the site.

The Navy held a community meeting about the testing on Feb. 1.

The Navy reports that there are still wells left in the sampling area that have not been tested because some residents didn’t sign up.

“The Navy believes it is important to test as many wells in the identified sampling area in order to identify and address potential exposures in drinking water,” a Navy press release states.

The Navy reports that it notified residents in the sampling area of the testing by letter and will make another effort to reach those who didn’t sign up.

Those who live within the sampling area, or suspect they might, are asked to call 360-396-1030, and a Navy representative will return the call to make arrangements.

Specific information about the test results will only be released by the Navy to the affected residents, the Navy reports.

More in News

South Whidbey student arrested for alleged threat

Superintendent Moccia wrote the student was “emergency expelled” until an investigation is completed.

City consulting contract to be considered

Oak Harbor will pay an engineering firm for computer-related support at the sewage treatment plant.

Treatment plant wins award for 2020

The Langley Wastewater Treatment Plant is the recipient of an award for its efforts.

Police probe Walmart scuffle

A woman and her teenage daughter attacked an employee at the Oak Harbor Walmart Thursday.

Driver in 2019 crash charged

An Oak Harbor woman is accused of causing a car accident in which she and a passenger were injured.

Naked golfer accused of chasing deputy, stealing car

A naked man chased a deputy, demanded the fleeing officer’s gun and ranted about aliens.

See caption
Winter clothing drive, fundraiser seek to wrap refugees in warmth

As winter sets in, there is a dire need for everyone to be dressed warmly.

Oak Harbor child molester reoffends, but sentence less lenient second time

Gary T. Boyer, 71, pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court to third degree child molestation.

Election certification yields wins for write-in candidates

Voter turnout this year in Island County was 49%, well above the state average of 39%.

Most Read