Suspected contamination source: Multiple potential sources, but likely Firefighting foam used at Piedmont Triad International Airport
Months of additional testing remain before final conclusions can be drawn. But water managers Steve Drew and Mike Borchers said that a major source of PFOS seems to be both training drills and real emergencies involving Aqueous Firefighting Foam at/near Piedmont Triad International Airport. Some former crashes involving tanker trucks and forgotten industrial fires or spills in the area may have contributed to the contamination as well. The airport also conducts yearly fire-training drills, using firefighting foam on its runway in the Greensboro watershed, without cleaning up afterward. This is an additional potential contributor of PFOS into nearby streams or ground water.
The assistant director of the county Department of Public Health, Ken Carter, has said that the evidence “seems to be pointing towards the airport… But we don’t have enough information yet to make a full assessment.”