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DES water testing at fire stations finds elevated PFOAs in Kingston

Union Leader Correspondent

December 11. 2017 12:29AM
Additional testing is underway at the Kingston fire station after contaminated water was found last year. (Jason Schreiber/Correspondent)

KINGSTON — The town is conducting additional testing around the fire station as part of its ongoing investigation into last year’s discovery of a water contaminant that has raised concerns locally and in several New Hampshire communities.

Test wells were installed in recent days as part of the ongoing site investigation into the contaminant perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which was found in well water at the station last year.

Initial tests by the state Department of Environmental Services showed the water contained 140 parts per trillion of PFOA; the state groundwater quality standard for PFOA is 70 ppt.

Selectman Peter Broderick said the source of the contamination isn’t known.

Fire Chief Bill Seaman said fire personnel stopped drinking the water long before the contamination was found last year. However, firefighters still use the water for showering, cooking and washing vehicles.

During last year’s drought residents were allowed to draw water from a spigot at the station, but that was stopped immediately when state tests discovered the contamination.

According to Jim Martin, public information officer for DES, more than 40 private drinking water wells in the vicinity of the station were sampled after the discovery was made. In addition to the well at the fire station, three residential properties were found to have elevated concentrations of PFOA and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid.

Martin said DES coordinated the installation of point-of-entry treatment systems at those properties with periodic monitoring to evaluate effectiveness.

Environment Public Safety Kingston

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