The PFAS Project Lab

Studying Social, Scientific, and Political Factors of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio

Suspected source: Firefighting foam used at Wright-Patterson Air Force base and Dayton firefighting training center.

Map by 88th Civil Engineer Group

Wright-Patterson AFB shut down two drinking water wells in May 2016 after testing showed the wells exceeded a new, lower U.S. EPA lifetime exposure standard of 70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS. In June, Dayton closed seven water production wells near the base at Huffman Dam as a “precautionary measure.” Later, in August, after tests showed PFOA and PFOS were below the threshold, Wright-Patterson lifted the drinking water advisory for pregnant women and infants that was imposed in May.

Sampling of the Mad River in August 2016 found two sites near Wright-Patterson’s main airfield that exceeded the 70 ppt limit; one site measured 82 points per trillion of PFOA and the other at 590 parts per trillion.

After being pressured by the Ohio EPA to conduct sediment sampling, Wright-Patterson hired CB&I Federal Services LLC for $347,000 to drill seven additional groundwater test wells. CB&I will test the new wells and 22 others quarterly for a year. (Barber)

Wright-Patterson AFB funded the implementation of a $2.7 million charcoal filtration system, which went online in June 2017. Following the filter’s construction, Dayton brought two drinking water wells on the Base back online after a year of non-use. Before treatment by the charcoal filter, the two wells showed concentrations of 200 and 700 ppt for combined PFOA and PFOS. (Barber)

In February 2018, Wright-Patterson AFB informed the Ohio EPA that test results point to Dayton’s firefighting training center is a potential source of PFAS groundwater contamination. As a result, EPA ordered the city to track and remediate potential contamination from the training center and find the source of PFAS contamination at the Dayton’s Ottawa treatment plant in the Mad River well field.

Dayton has asked the Air Force for reimbursement costs of nearly $1 million for testing and investigation to track the contamination.

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