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Dec 19, 2017 4:44 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Second Wainscott Well Found To Have Dangerous Levels Of Contamination

Dec 19, 2017 5:03 PM

A second Wainscott home’s well water has been found to have chemical contamination above the safety threshold set by the Suffolk County Department of Health.

The total number of wells that have been found to have some levels of the two volatile compounds, PFOS and PFOA, that were first detected in wells over the summer is now 59. A total of 167 wells have been sampled, with 75 being found to have no traces of the chemical contamination.

New York State and the Suffolk County Department of Health have been sampling wells in a 250-home neighborhood of Wainscott, between the East Hampton Airport and Montauk Highway, that they have determined could be contaminated by the chemicals.

The source of the contamination has not yet been determined, but the State Department of Environmental Conservation is set to begin an investigation into the source early next year.

In the meantime, the state is providing advanced water filters to the two homes with the highest contamination levels so that the homeowners may resume using their water, and the town has asked the Suffolk County Water Authority to start designing a plan to connect the entire affected neighborhood to county water mains. The town is also providing bottled drinking water to 85 homeowners.

“We’re taking very deliberate steps here to try to find out the nature and extent of the problem, the cause of the problem, and the ultimate solution that may be necessary,” Supervisor Larry Cantwell said on Tuesday.

The supervisor said that the sampling of wells in the area of concern should be completed in the next couple of weeks, and that the town is expecting the DEC to hold a public information meeting in January to outline how to go about identifying the source of the contamination.

The chemicals found in the wells are commonly found in fire-suppressing foams, like those used by firefighters, and a town-owned fire training facility on the East Hampton Airport property, where such substances have long been stored, has been seen as a likely culprit.

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