Private drinking wells near Ellsworth test positive for toxic compounds
RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Air Force Civil Engineer Center recently concluded its fourth round of testing for toxic chemicals known as perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, in private water wells near the base.
The results showed that six drinking wells have levels of PFCs above the EPA’s health advisory levels.
Airforce personnel have notified those affected by the results, and are providing them with alternative drinking water.
PFCs are likely to be carcinogenic, and may also disrupt human hormonal systems. They are thought to be linked with reproductive problems and other health issues. They have been largely unregulated for the past half-century and take a long time to break down in the environment.
The Ellsworth Airforce Base began using firefighting foam that contained PFCs in the 1970’s.
The fifth phase of testing is planned for February. A public meeting regarding the issue is also tentatively scheduled for March.
Anyone with questions can contact the base restoration officials at 605-385-2677.