Monday, October 5, 2020

Army is asking to collect water samples in Fort Riley vicinity


Fort Riley is contacting owners of properties located near Marshall Army Airfield to ask permission to test the quality of drinking water in wells on those properties, to determine if the wells may have been impacted due to Army operations.

According to a news release from Fort Riley the testing will look for concentrations of Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), which are part of a larger group of chemical compounds known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS.

PFAS are used in aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), a critical firefighting agent used to quickly suppress petroleum fires at airports and military installations. AFFF has been used at Fort Riley. PFAS are also found in many everyday products, such as food packaging, cookware, carpet protectants and waterproofing chemicals.

The Environmental Protection Agency issued a health advisory establishing a threshold concentration of PFOS and PFOA for drinking water of 70 parts per trillion (ppt). Fort Riley's drinking water supply has been tested since 2013 for PFOS and PFOA and the highest concentrations found are 11 ppt.

A site inspection on Fort Riley this year found that nine locations beneath Marshall Army Airfield with potential PFAS releases showed PFOA/PFOS concentrations above 70 ppt in groundwater samples. This has led the Army to seek to test off-post drinking water wells that could be affected due to Army operations.


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