City stopped pumping water from well field near Wright-Patt
The city of Dayton stopped pumping water at a Huffman Dam well field in April after a Wright-Patterson Air Force Base monitoring well near the dam showed tainted groundwater above a federal environmental threshold for contaminants found in firefighting foam, officials say.
The Dayton production well field will remain closed until the city and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency “are comfortable that operation of these wells will not cause the migration” of groundwater contaminants from the base into the city’s well field, according to Michelle D. Simmons, a city water department environmental manager.
However, city and base environmental officials say drinking water in both the city of Dayton and at Wright-Patterson is safe to consume.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a threshold health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion for drinking water from contaminants found in Aqueous Film Forming Foam, a fire suppressant.
Base will reopen closed wells Wright-Patterson tentatively expects to reopen two closed contaminated drinking water wells next week in Area A when a new $2.7 million water treatment facility starts operations.
The Ohio EPA has cited concerns a contaminated groundwater plume could potentially reach other drinking wells on base and the seven city of Dayton production wells at Huffman Dam.
The two contaminated wells in Area A at Wright-Patterson posed “a continued threat to public health from the potential plume emanation to the city of Dayton well field,” the state agency reported last summer.
Since then, water had been cycled through one pump each day at Huffman Dam and sent to a treatment facility to keep the pumps in operation, Simmons said.
Additional tests for contamination None of the city’s monitoring wells at the Huffman Dam well field sampled in December showed contamination levels above the EPA threshold nor has it been detected in the water distribution system, according to Simmons.
In addition to the new $2.7 million water treatment facility, the base has spent about $1.5 million on groundwater testing-related costs, according to Bashore.