“EGLIN AFB — Chemical compounds found in some of the groundwater at Eglin Air Force Base don’t pose a threat to its drinking-water system, according to base officials.

Eglin’s drinking water comes from wells across the base that are fed by groundwater. Monitoring of the active drinking water sources at Eglin does not show either of the two compounds, according to base spokesman Michael Spaits.

A Department of Defense report released in March showed water from five of Eglin’s groundwater monitoring wells, all near a fire training area, contained two chemical compounds in concentrations far higher than the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Lifetime Health Advisories. Lifetime Health Advisories are a measure of the concentration of chemicals in drinking water. Levels at or below the advisories are not expected to produce adverse health effects.

The compounds found at Eglin, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoroctane sulfanimide (PFOS), are components of foam used to combat petroleum fires. They are not regulated under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

The EPA’s Lifetime Health Advisories for PFOA and PFOS are 70 parts per trillion. Groundwater from the six wells at Eglin contained PFOS and PFOA in concentrations ranging from 4,300 parts per trillion to 280,000 parts per trillion, according to the DoD report.

Last year, more than 4,200 samples of the drinking water at Eglin were analyzed by an independent laboratory, with no notices of chemical contamination, Spaits said.

The reason for that, according to Spaits and Ralph Armstrong, Eglin’s restoration programs manager, is that the base’s water comes from the Floridan aquifer, a layer of permeable rock that traps and holds groundwater that is pumped to the surface.

The Floridan aquifer is hundreds of feet below the surface, and is also under a thick layer of clay-type soil through which potential contaminants can’t pass, Armstrong said.”

Read the full article by Jim Thompson