“SATELLITE BEACH — Tests for cancer-causing chemicals already found at high concentrations underground at Patrick Air Force Base turned up — but at lower levels — in all three wells the city recently sampled after residents had raised cancer concerns, city officials said Wednesday.

The presence of the compounds at three random wells is a matter of concern for officials and residents alike, and has the city discussing what comes next and where else to look…

The chemicals, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA),  are unregulated. But science is finding that even at low exposures, these compounds are implicated in some types of cancer, thyroid defects, immune suppression and pregnancy complications, according to several scientific studies in recent years…

Satellite Beach does not have any guidelines and does not use ground water for drinking. The municipality gets its potable supplies piped in from the city of Melbourne, which uses water sources from mainland wells and Lake Washington. But sprinkler systems used to irrigate yards and parks are drawn from groundwater, which the recent tests bring under suspicion.

Satellite Beach’s recent groundwater tests at wells that ranged from 10 to 20 feet deep were as follows:

  • 41.5 parts per trillion in a well right outside City Hall;
  • 22.85  parts per trillion in a well at Jackson Avenue near Satellite High School and;
  • 30.13 parts per trillion in well at South Patrick Community Park, near Sea Park Elementary School.

The results will be presented to City Council members Wednesday night at their regular meeting. Barker said the city’s environmental consultant would likely retest the wells soon to validate the results.

‘I think we have to confirm the test,’ she said.

Fire foams with the dangerous chemicals had been used at Patrick Air Force Base and other military installations, until being phased out in recent years.

The city paid about $9,000 for the well testing. The company that drilled the three wells is Preferred Drilling Solutions Inc., based in Pinellas Park. Tetra Tech is the environmental consulting firm that sampled the wells.

The city had recently drilled the three wells to sample from, after an oncologist who graduated from Satellite High School had raised concerns about a possible cancer cluster…

Brevard Public Schools also recently conducted water tests, hiring a firm to sample tap water at 13 beachside schools. Those results are pending and expected to be released Aug. 5 at a community meeting at Satellite Beach Civic Center.

The compounds were among 28 chemicals that the EPA required water systems to test for between 2013 and 2015. Neither Melbourne or Cocoa’s water systems found any of the chemicals during that testing requirement, EPA data show.

But a March 2018 Department of Defense report found that all 28 groundwater samples recently taken at Patrick exceeded the EPA lifetime health advisory level for fluorinated chemicals. Sampling showed 15 of 16 areas tested at Patrick and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station had the compounds at levels in the groundwater greater than EPA’s advisory level. The highest level detected at the base was 4.3 million parts per trillion.”

Read the full article by Jim Waymer