Firefighter foam poses water risk around NZ air bases

The foam was used in training by defence staff at Base Woodbourne, in Marlborough, and Ohakea, in Manawatū.
Environment Minister David Parker said government agencies were investigating potential water contamination around Woodbourne and Ohakea air bases.
Parker said levels of two chemical compounds, PFOS and PFOA, found by the NZ Defence Force (NZDF), were above guidelines for groundwater at these sites.
"As a result, we wish to test the water of properties neighbouring the bases, to see if their water is contaminated," Parker said.
About 60 properties near the Ohakea air base, mostly dairy farms, could be affected by the contamination, a Ministry for the Environment spokesperson said.
The same foam had also been used at commercial airports.
The ministry was not aware of any having undertaken testing for contamination, but it would be talking to airport owners in the coming months.
Water for the farm comes from a bore on the property, but people do not drink from it, he said.
Rooney said the council was sampling its own water supplies to gather testing results, which would be completed in the New Year.
​The Defence Force hasn’t received new supplies of the foam since 2002.

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