MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The United States Navy is looking at a few Cumberland County drinking water wells.
It’s a proactive step related to concerns about PFAS and connected to chemicals linked to cancer and other health issues.
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This water testing is only for those who have private drinking wells. The Navy is taking samples from wells within a mile radius of the Naval Support Activity and researching patterns.
Environmentalists with the Naval Support Activity in Mechanicsburg say back in 2019 they tested more than 60 private wells.
Now the Navy is testing 5 more wells in Cumberland County, all to make sure homeowners are safe.
“So the Navy took the approach of wanting to sample off base before we sampled on base to protect residents,” Mann said.
Environmental director Catherine Mann says her team has been going door to door and mailing information to people who get water from their own wells.
Mann says PFAS can be found in so many things such as stain-resistant compounds to firefighting foam, which is something the Navy used in the past for training.
“And for the Navy in particular it’s most commonly in firefighting foam, so the firefighting foam the Navy uses is no different because it saves lives,” Mann said.
The Navy says it’s working very hard to stay ahead of the game and avoid unnecessary alarm.
“We’re just looking the PFAS level and the trigger, I mean obviously the analysis would show any PFAS but the level that triggers the health advisory is 70 parts per trillion.”
The crew encourages those who do have wells to get their systems tested. It’s free and at the convenience of the homeowner.
“Not only for their own protection but also so we can have a clear pattern of where this exists, so we get a full, from a scientific perspective to understand how it’s happening and where,” Mann said.
The Navy says if it does find a concerning amount of PFAS it would provide the household with bottled water.
To a sampling appointment, homeowners can call 833-737-7267 (833-REQSAMP) you can leave a message with your name, property address, and telephone number.