U.S. Air Force finds 20 contaminated water wells at former Reese Air Force Base

A close-up view of the main gate of the former Reese Air Force Base, Texas prior to the...
A close-up view of the main gate of the former Reese Air Force Base, Texas prior to the installation's closure. (Source: USAF)
Updated: Jan. 19, 2018 at 3:36 PM CST
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LUBBOCK COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - Officials with the United States Air Force say 19 private drinking water wells and one public water well are contaminated with perflourinated compounds.

In a news release, officials say the Air Force is providing bottled water to affected well owners and has been working with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the EPA and affected communities to protect human health and drinking water supplies.

Officials began sampling the water in November 2017. The news release says perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) were at or above the EPA's lifetime health advisory of 70 parts per trillion for drinking water in 15 private wells. Also, perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA) and/or perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS), and/or Perfluoropenatonoic Acid (PFPeA), which are also PFAS, were found in five additional wells in excess of the Texas Risk Reduction Program (TRRP) protective concentration levels (PCLs) but below the EPA's lifetime health advisory.

There have been 93 drinking water wells sampled with preliminary results received on 77 of the wells.

PFOS/PFOA are commonly found in many consumer products and are widely used by industry, commercial aviation and military services as components in Aqueous Film Forming Foam to contain petroleum-based fires.

"We are working hand-in-hand with local community leaders, TCEQ and the EPA Region 6 to continue to test and monitor wells and ensure drinking water supplies meet applicable federal and state standards," said Paul Carroll, Base Realignment and Closure Environmental Coordinator. "The Air Force's top priority is to protect human health and we will continue to work closely with impacted residents and members of the community to ensure concerns are addressed."

More laboratory results are expected in the next week. All drinking water wells tested are located within one mile and in the direction of groundwater flow of the former base. Residents in the current sampling areas who have not been contacted for water sampling are asked to contact Mr. Paul Carroll, at 806-885-5010 or at paul.carroll.1@us.af.mil.

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