Preliminary drinking water results for 12 off-station wells sampled during the first week of testing indicate all are below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Lifetime Health Advisory (LHA) of 70 parts per trillion (PPT) for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. All property owners have been notified of the preliminary results received. The laboratory results are currently undergoing the data validation process and property owners will receive validated test results when available. Results from seven other wells samped the second week are pending.
The Navy voluntarily began testing private drinking water wells within identified areas around Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jax) earlier this month as part of its commitment to ensure local drinking water supplies are not impacted by past Navy use of chemicals on the air station.
These tests are at no cost to the well owners. This is part of Navy’s ongoing testing of drinking water for PFAS substances currently taking place at and near Navy installations across the nation.
PFAS are man-made chemicals persistent in the environment that are not absorbed well in soil and could migrate to groundwater. PFAS have been used for many years to make products that resist heat, stains, grease and water, and have been used in a variety of products and substances.
In May 2016, the EPA issued LHA levels for two PFAS, specifically perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), at 70 PPT, individually and combined if both are present. While there are no EPA regulations for these compounds, the EPA established these LHA levels to offer a margin of protection for all Americans throughout their life from potential adverse health effects resulting from exposure to PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.
The most common historical Navy use of these chemicals has been firefighting foam (AFFF) used on Navy installations. AFFF is the most effective way to put out petroleum-based fires, such as an aircraft accident.
In June 2016, the Navy issued a policy to identify areas of potential release of these materials to the environment.
On station, drinking water is produced by NAS Jax’s Public Works Utilities Division and supplemented by JEA. Both systems have been tested for PFAS, which were below the detection level.
More information about the Navy’s PFAS initiative and drinking water testing program may be found at: https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrse/installations/nas_jacksonville.html.