Airway Heights tap water still contaminated
Airway Heights tap water still contaminated.
They seeped into groundwater from a fire training site on the eastern edge of the base.
Airway Heights Fire Chief Mitch Metzger said 20 samples were recently collected from water lines throughout the city, and four showed concentrations of the chemicals ranging from 85 to 141 parts per trillion.
The rest of the samples, Metzger said, showed no trace of the chemicals or tested well below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recommendation of 70 parts per trillion, a guideline based on “lifetime exposure.” City officials had hoped to lift the water advisory more than a week ago, but Metzger said Friday that an ongoing flushing process has proved successful at decreasing contamination levels.
Some contamination remains because the city can’t drain its system completely.
It needs to keep reservoirs about halfway full to maintain pressure for firefighting operations, Metzger said.
“The first couple of weeks, that was a real challenge,” said Justin Davis, a co-owner of Wolffy’s Hamburgers in Airway Heights.
The restaurant has been spending hundreds of dollars a week to ship in fresh ice, even though it’s equipped with an ice machine.
And employees have been making frequent trips to the nearby Yoke’s grocery store to stock up on canned soda, Davis said.
The city and the Air Force have been providing 100 gallons of bottled water a day to local businesses, but even that posed some logistical challenges during the first few days.