Well tests find more firefighting foam contamination; meeting set

By Sam Friedman, originally posted on November 12, 2016


FAIRBANKS — New water-well testing in the southern Fairbanks industrial area has revealed additional wells with unhealthy levels of pollution from firefighting foam, according to a Fairbanks city letter sent to area residents last week.

The city plans to hold a community meeting about the water pollution Thursday night. The meetings is 5:30-7 p.m. at Patrick B. Cole City Hall.

More than 20 homes with residential water wells previously were found to have man-made chemicals known as perfluorinated compounds (PFCs).

The city has had more than 100 wells tested for PFC contamination.

The map of contaminated water wells gradually has expanded as a city contractor tests wells over a wider area.

The pattern of contamination appears to follow the flow of groundwater north and west from the source of the contamination, the city-owned Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center on 30th Avenue. For two decades, firefighters there trained with a product called Aqueous Film-Forming Foam, which contains perfluorinated compounds.

The most recent round of testing found wells previously not reported that had PFC concentrations above the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s health advisory level.

The additional wells were off Alston Road south of Davis Road, and along 19th Avenue between Alston Road and Kennedy Avenue.

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