“DOVER — Gov. John Carney has authorized the National Guard to assist residents of a southern Delaware town after high levels of toxic chemicals were discovered in municipal wells.

Authorities said Friday that the Guard has provided two 400-gallon portable water tanks and coordinated troops to ensure 24-hour water distribution operations to the residents of Blades. A 5,000-gallon water tanker is prepared for follow-up support, officials said.

State environmental and public health officials announced late Thursday that sampling requested by the Environmental Protection Agency found concentrations of perfluorinated compounds above the human health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion in all three of the town’s drinking water wells.

Timothy Ratsep, a program administrator for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, said results from sampling done in late January showed PFC levels in the three wells ranging from 96 to 187.1 parts per trillion.

“We do not know the source or sources here, and we’re continuing to evaluate the conditions,” he said.

Water will be supplied to the town, which has a population of about 1,400, “out of an abundance of caution” until the extent of the contamination is determined, officials said.

State officials called the well water safe for bathing and laundry, but not for drinking or cooking.”

Read the full article by Randall Chase.