Private well owners struggle with PFC contamination
The Riskos worry that nearby development has finally caught up to them; that PFOA and PFOS have, over decades, crept down from military bases miles to the north through area waterways and infiltrated their lives through a pair of private wells the couple uses for drinking water.
The Riskos’ situation shows that concerns about PFOA and PFOS contamination reach beyond the boundary lines that the military is using to investigate the issue.
Within the boundaries, more than 200 private wells have been found to be contaminated at levels deemed unsafe, but those like Risko wonder if there are even more beyond those lines.
Just how far away are the public wells?
The military and EPA have sampled hundreds of private wells in the region, finding more than 200 have been contaminated above 70 ppt by the chemicals.
Military officials have also previously said they’re legally unable to provide remediation for wells with levels below 70 ppt, because it is the number the EPA has established as safe.
Her private well has been tested twice by the EPA; both times the chemicals were detected at about half the agency’s recommended limit.
In the second half of 2014, the military began testing public and private water wells in the region.
About two years after the test, the family is still waiting to be connected to public water.
Jones said connecting the Johnson home to public water is taking some time because it is "one of the properties that does not have a readily accessible existing water main to tap into."