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Possible Water Contamination Across MA May Be Linked To Firefighting Foam, Officials Say

Possible Water Contamination Across MA May Be Linked To Firefighting Foam, Officials Say

Boston, MA - State environment officials have been tracking a possible lead to a potential threat regarding the drinking water in Massachusetts; according to officials, the drinking water may be linked to a contamination issue with firefighting foam. These instances are supposedly occurring at military installations and airports.

According to Dan Santos, director of the Barnstable Department of Public Works, the firefighter foam used to put fires out has led to possible contamination in the drinking water. The typical process used to put fires out requires the use of firefighter foam. After the foam hits the ground, it seeps into the soil and goes deeper and deeper into the ground as time goes on; it never really goes away.

The Environmental Protection Agency stepped forward to provide some insight on the matter. According to the EPA, there should not be more than 70 parts per trillion for two chemical compounds in drinking water. These two chemical compounds are known as per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances. However, the soil at the Barnstable Municipal Airport was reading in the thousands. Other areas around Joint Base Cape Cod, Devens, and Springfield have similar circumstances. All of these effects are because of the Aqueous Film Forming Foam, also known as AFFF, that military bases and airports use.

What’s more is that every time it rains, or every time water hits the soil, the compounds go deeper and deeper underground, therefore contaminating the water. So far, officials have claimed that there is a high possibility that the drinking water in Hyannis is contaminated. This can be very dangerous for pregnant women, infants, and babies.

What’s worse is that there are approximately eight airports in the state that require firefighting foam to be present on site; Martha’s Vineyard Airport is one of those eight. A gentleman that works for the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission came forward to state that the more he and his team learned about the chemical compounds, the more they agreed that testing the groundwater was the right thing to do. The team will continue testing and will share all test data to the public as it’s received.