• Here's where testing has located PFAS or 'forever chemicals' in Wiscons

    From Ban Fracking@21:1/5 to All on Wed Jun 15 21:26:02 2022
    XPost: talk.politics.guns, wi.general, alt.checkmate
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    MADISON The Department of Natural Resources has started to
    release the findings of voluntary "forever chemical" testing of
    water utilities across the state, finding new contaminations.

    PFAS or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are a family of
    man-made chemicals used for their water- and stain-resistant
    qualities in products like clothing and carpet, nonstick
    cookware, packaging and firefighting foam. The family includes
    5,000 compounds, which are persistent, remaining both in the
    environment and the human body over time.

    The chemicals have been linked to types of kidney and testicular
    cancers, lower birth weights, harm to immune and reproductive
    systems, altered hormone regulation and altered thyroid
    hormones. The chemicals enter the human body largely through
    drinking water.

    Here are where high levels of PFAS have been found in Wisconsin
    so far.

    Marinette and Peshtigo
    Marinette and Peshtigo were the first two locations in Wisconsin
    to discover PFAS contamination. The compounds stem from
    firefighting foam testing conducted outdoors by Ansul Company,
    which is now known as Tyco Fire Products, a subsidiary of
    Johnson Controls.

    The testing took place from 1962 to 2017, and after the foam was
    released, it was often washed into the surrounding soil or into
    the drains going to the Marinette sewer system.

    Testing has shown concentrations of more than 400 parts per
    trillion of PFOA and more than 5,000 parts per trillion of PFOS.
    The highest concentration found in groundwater samples were
    254,000 parts per trillion and in sail was 122,000 parts per

    The contamination at the site also got into groundwater,
    impacting private wells in nearby Peshtigo. A settlement was
    reached early last year between the company and homeowners in
    the area over the impacts of the contamination.

    Rhinelander was one of the first water systems in Wisconsin to
    find PFAS contamination, prompting the shutdown of two wells
    near the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport.

    The city has continued to test its wells quarterly, and is in
    the process of searching for a solution to the contamination,
    said Zach Vruwink, the City Administrator.

    More:Toxic 'forever chemicals' aren't defined as hazardous in
    Wisconsin so the state can't force cleanup, judge says

    Town of Campbell
    The Town of Campbell, located on French Island near La Crosse,
    has extensive PFAS contamination impacting private wells.

    The PFAS being found in drinking water across the island are
    likely the result of the use of PFAS-containing firefighting
    foam at the La Crosse Regional Airport for decades. PFAS were
    first detected on the island in 2014 in La Crosse municipal
    wells, and testing of private wells began in late 2020.

    About 2,000 residents on French Island are currently receiving
    bottled water either from the City of La Crosse or through the
    Department of Natural Resources. The DNR estimated last year it
    will spend about $600,000 a year on providing water to residents.

    Eau Claire
    Eau Claire shut down a few of its wells in early 2021 after PFAS
    were detected. But by late 2021, the compounds were found in
    more of the wells, indicating that functioning wells were
    pulling them from one area of the water table into another. The
    city then shut down eight wells of their 16.

    The wells with elevated levels showed results ranging from 21 to
    70 parts per trillion.

    To deal with the contamination the city has created lagoons in
    its well field to create a place to dump water that has tested
    positive for high levels of PFAS, according to utility manager
    Lane Berg.

    Wausau's mayor announced in early 2022 that all six wells within
    the city limits were impacted by PFAS, or per- and
    polyfluoroalkyl substances. The wells tested between 23 parts
    per trillion and 48 parts per trillion, all above the state's
    recommended health safety levels of 20 parts per trillion.

    Weston shut off two of its six drinking water wells in March,
    after PFAS were found. According to DNR data, the water utility
    showed elevated levels of PFOS at 47.4 parts per trillion in one
    well, much higher than the state's recommended health advisory
    level. Other wells were found to have levels below the advisory
    of PFOS and PFOA, two of the most well-known PFAS compounds, as
    well as other PFAS compounds.

    Rib Mountain
    In late 2021, Rib Mountain tested its water and found PFAS in
    four of its wells, with levels above the recommended 20 parts
    per trillion in one. The well was promptly taken out of service,

    Rothschild also announced in early 2022 that it found elevated
    levels of PFAS in its drinking water system, forcing the
    shutdown of one of its wells, which showed a level of PFAS
    slightly above the current recommended standard of 20 parts per

    However, the village announced that after actions taken by the
    Rothschild Water Utility, a second test showed that levels of
    the compound dropped below the 20 parts per trillion, meaning
    that the well may be used again due to the demand for water. The
    village indicated that bringing the well back online may cause
    elevated levels of PFAS to show again, but did not offer any
    further information.

    The PFAS at the Dane County Airport have become an increasingly
    large issue for the area since their discovery in 2019.

    The contamination is likely linked to the use of PFAS-containing
    firefighting foam, which has been recommended for use by the
    Federal Aviation Administration for years. As a part of yearly
    requirements, the airport and the Air National Guard were
    required to test the foam, discharging it on the ground and
    washing it away.

    Over time, the PFAS from the foam migrated through the soil and
    into the water in the area, including Starkweather Creek, which
    now faces one of the worst contaminations in the city. The
    chemicals have also worked themselves into many of the other
    water bodies in Madison as well, including Lakes Monona, Waubesa
    and Kegonsa, as well as a portion of the Yahara River.

    More:Wisconsin Natural Resources Board passes PFAS standards in
    drinking and surface waters but leave groundwater unregulated

    Testing found PFAS in ground and surface water near Mitchell
    International Airport in 2019, stemming from the use of
    firefighting foam at the airport and by the Air National Guard
    128th Air Refueling Wing, which remains on site, and the 440th
    Airlift Wing of the Air Force Reserve, which left Milwaukee in

    Some of the highest levels of the chemicals were found in
    private drinking wells along the borders of the airport.
    Contaminated water was also found to flow into Lake Michigan.

    Milwaukee Water Works also routinely tests the city's drinking
    water for PFAS, finding very low levels of PFAS in its treated
    water, ranging from 0.7 parts per trillion to 2.3 parts per
    trillion. Milwaukee's drinking water is taken from Lake Michigan.

    Marshfield shut down four wells and one entry point into its
    water treatment facility, after PFAS were detected entering
    through the point. The city will now test the individual wells
    to see which is contributing to the high levels.

    Testing found PFOS at 24 parts per trillion, according to DNR

    Mosinee received test results at the end of May, showing
    elevated levels of PFOS in one of its wells, located near Maple
    Ridge Road. The city reduced the amount of water being pumped
    out of the well, making up the difference with another nearby
    well, according to a news release.

    The city will resample both of the wells to double-check the

    More: UW study finds Wisconsin rivers contributing to 'forever
    chemical' concentrations in bay of Green Bay, Lake Michigan

    Adams took one of its drinking water wells offline on May 11,
    after finding elevated levels of PFHXS.

    The city will conduct additional testing, according to a news
    release, and said that there is no risk to those consuming the
    water at this time.

    This list will be updated as more information is released by the

    Laura Schulte can be reached at leschulte@jrn.com and on Twitter
    at @SchulteLaura.

    https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/2022/06/15/where-testing-has- found-pfas-forever-chemicals-wisconsin-drinking-water/7454960001/

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