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Oct 11, 2017 4:44 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

County Issues Water Quality Advisory For Private Water Wells In Wainscott

The East Hampton private well survey area.  COURTESY SUFFOLK COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Oct 17, 2017 12:18 PM

The Suffolk County Health Department has issued a water quality advisory for Wainscott residents who use private wells.

Wells will be tested for free within a certain area near the East Hampton Airport, and bottled water will be provided upon request to residents of that area who use private well water.

The Department of Health Services found traces of two chemicals in private wells: perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, and perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. Both are on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency list of emerging contaminants. A press release from the county noted that one of the private wells had levels of PFOA and PFOS above the EPA’s lifetime health advisory level of 0.07 parts per billion.

The county started testing private wells in Wainscott after the State Department of Environmental Conservation conducted a survey of facilities that may have used products containing PFOS and PFOA and learned that the airport had used or stored products that may have contained the chemicals. The source of the contamination has not yet been determined, according to Grace Kelly-McGovern, director of public relations for the Suffolk County Health Department.

PFOS and PFOA are part of a class of chemicals unregulated by the federal government known as perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, and have been found in products including firefighting foam and coatings that repel water, oil, stains and grease. People can be exposed to these chemicals through air, water, soil or consumer products, according to the County Health Department.

Traces of PFOS and PFOA were found last year in private water supplies in Westhampton and Westhampton Beach Village.

In Wainscott, the county plans to continue to sample private wells in an area bounded to the north by the airport, to the west by Town Line Road, to the south by Montauk Highway extending toward Merriwood Drive and on the east by Daniels Hole Road. Homeowners who would like their wells tested free of charge can call 631-852-5810.

About 100 residents have called to schedule water testing, according to Ms. Kelly-McGovern. Samples are sent to the New York State Department of Health.

East Hampton Town has offered to provide bottled water to homeowners in the area who are concerned about their drinking water. The Town Purchasing Department can be reached at 631-324-4183 or by emailing jcarroza@ehamptonny.gov.

The County Health Department said there is no need for those connected to a public water supply to have it tested, as public water is routinely tested and levels of PFOA and PFOS are below the EPA’s lifetime health advisory level.

Further information about PFCs can be found at suffolkcountyny.gov/health/pfcwaterinfo.

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But I bet the grass is greeeeeeen!
By johnj (879), Westhampton on Oct 11, 17 6:32 PM
Fire training grounds, Shaw aero, bus company???
By knitter (1435), Southampton on Oct 11, 17 8:12 PM
The idiots on this island think pollution is from septic systems. Try farms and govt as the enemy of farms
By chief1 (2518), southampton on Oct 11, 17 8:16 PM
Terrible misleading reporting. The airport itself has never had any firefighting foam or used these chemicals. But several independent companies who leased the commercial property adjacent to the airport from the town during the 60s, 70s, and 80s May have used them.
By localEH (317), East Hampton on Oct 11, 17 11:18 PM
The airport had an airplane fire incident in the late 1990's and reported that fact to the DEC. Also, the fire department practiced with fire retardant foam at the airport. There may have also been use of foam by one of the private entities who leased space. The point is the contamination is so dangerous the Dept. of Health Services began to test wells.
By marybmary (47), east hampton on Oct 12, 17 3:20 PM
Hampton Bays Rotary, Autumn Evening by the Sea, Joyce Oakland, Oaklands Restaurant