Residents ask questions on well water in northwestern Greenwich

GREENWICH — Concerned residents of the northwest corner of Greenwich met with water and health officials to gain a better understanding of what impact a chemical contaminant might have on the neighborhood and its water supply.
According to health officials, only one residential well in the King Street area, close to the Westchester County Airport, has tested positive for Perfluorooctanic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS).
Town health authorities said two wells previously tested positive in February, but another round of tests showed only on verified positive result, exceeding the threshold of 70 parts per trillion.
More than 30 local residents attended the informational session at the Harvest Time Church with representatives from the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Greenwich Department of Health.
The state tested 10 residential wells in the area earlier this year.
Testing in February found elevated levels of a chemical used in a firefighting foam at the airport in New York state, leading to a round of testing in Greenwich.
News of the water issue has led to concerns in the neighborhood.
Glenn Harvison lives in the neighborhood, and he said his family was paying attention.
The minister said he would like to see additional testing on a regular basis — “what about next year, and the year after that?” he asked, after the initial attention had passed.
Connecticut State health authorities said they were working with their counterparts in New York state to find solutions to the issue of water contamination.

Well Water Contamination Info Hearing Scheduled In Greenwich

GREENWICH, CT — An information session has been scheduled for May 14 concerning well water contamination in Greenwich, organizers announced.
The public meeting will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Harvest Time Assembly of God, located at 1338 King St. in Greenwich.
Representatives from the state Department of Public Health, state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Greenwich Department of Health will be on hand to discuss the results of recent tests conducted in Northwest Greenwich.
The tests were conducted to determine if Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) migrated into the groundwater supply servicing public and private wells in that area of town.
PFAS concentrations have been discovered in New York and in groundwater monitoring wells at Westchester County Airport, according to officials, which led to the precautionary tests in Greenwich.
"Perfluoroalkyl substances are not found naturally in the environment but can be released when used or disposed of at factories, airports, fire training areas, landfills and other industrial facilities," wrote Greenwich officials in a statement.
"These chemicals do not break down easily in the environment, even when they are introduced into the water.
Several PFAS, Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS), which are the most studied, are of special concern including Perfluorohexane Sulfonate (PFHxS), Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFNA) and Perfluoroheptanoic Acid (PFHpA) as they are persistent in the human body and exert a variety of toxic effects."
For more information on PFAS and the May 14 public hearing, click here.
An Information Session on Perfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Contamination found in Public/Private Well Water Supplies in Northwest #GreenwichCT is planned for Monday, May 14.— Town of Greenwich CT (@GreenwichFirst) May 9, 2018 Image via Shutterstock To sign up for Greenwich breaking news alerts and more, click here.

Letter: Adoption of State Water Plan is in Jeopardy; Water is a Public Trust Resource

Even with this abundance, the increasing pressures from land use/development and changes in rainfall patterns and distribution are impacting both the quality and quantity of this precious resource.
This is good news for Greenwich and everyone interested in protecting drinking water supplies and finding a way to balance the use of our water resources.
The utilities are concerned with language in the plan that refers to water as a public trust resource.
In 1971, the General Assembly declared, “there is a public trust in the air, water and other natural resources of the state of Connecticut and that each person is entitled to the protection, preservation and enhancement of the same.
Taking the reference to water as public trust resource out of the Plan will not change state statute.
What it will do is begin the erosion of this public trust doctrine that protects one of our most important natural resources.
The State Water Plan recognizes this.
It also recognizes that this protection will only happen as a result of coordination between state and local government and our water utilities.
It is important for Greenwich and all of Connecticut to have a State Water Plan now.
The Plan should be adopted by the CT General Assembly, as presented by the Water Planning Council, with over whelming, bi-partisan support that includes water as a public trust resource.

Groundwater contamination found at Westchester County Airport

Columnist David McKay Wilson talks about changes in the plan for Westchester County Airport since George Latimer took over as county executive. FiOS Westchester has discovered groundwater contamination at the county airport, with officials suspecting it was caused by chemicals used in firefighting foam decades ago. Preliminary results from one monitoring well, located near a former Air National Guard septic field, found contaminants in concentrations that were 14 times the limit set by the US Environmental Protection Agency health advisory. The airport borders the Kensico Reservoir, which provides drinking water to New York City and some Westchester residents. Most residents in nearby Greenwich, Connecticut, get their water from reservoirs in town managed by Aquarion Water Co., although some rely on private wells. Tests of the Kensico Reservoir have found no evidence that the contamination has seeped into the water supply, a state official said. “We had a few high hits on some wells,” said Vincent Kopicki, the county’s commissioner of public works and transportation, at the Jan. 24 meeting of the county Airport Advisory Board. The contamination was detected at a well just north of the airport in July 2017, which led to testing of wells across the airport property. Samples taken in November found contamination at the airport, with the public notified of the findings at the Jan. 24 meeting of the Westchester Airport Advisory Board. Investigators want to determine which direction the contamination is flowing — to the west toward the Kensico Reservoir, or to the southeast, toward public wells in Greenwich. The EPA sets safe drinking water standards of 70 parts per trillion….