“The Guam Waterworks Authority is in the process of buying filtration systems for two water wells contaminated with higher-than-advisable levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS.

The information was relayed through a press release from Joint Region Marianas and GWA promising cooperation in order to ensure safe drinking water for Guam.

GWA and Joint Region Marianas are working together to test and monitor island water wells for PFOS and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, according to the release.

These compounds – commonly in the form of perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, and the PFOS chemical found in some water wells on Guam – are associated with serious health problems, including certain cancers.

PFOS was detected in five sampling sites in late 2016. Three of those sites yielded concentrations higher than new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency health advisory limits.

One of the wells is the NAS-1 water well in Tiyan, a former Naval Air Station.

PFAS can be found in firefighting foam, known as aqueous film-forming foam, previously used on Guam for emergencies and training activities, the release stated…

‘The NAS-1 water well, which is a former Navy-owned production well and now owned by GWA, tested both positive and then negative for PFAS in the previous reports,’ JRM environmental specialist Maria Lewis stated in the release.

‘Through recent efforts by GWA, NAS-1 now does have an operational granular activated carbon filtration system which eliminates any potential PFAS in the water entering the distribution system.’

The two water wells, located in the central villages, were shut down and remain out of operation.

‘Throughout the United States, the Department of the Navy continues to take a proactive approach to identifying locations where PFAS may have been released into drinking water sources on installations and in surrounding communities,’ the release stated.”

Read the full article by John O’Connor