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Jan 5, 2018 4:41 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Suffolk County Health Department Finds More Contaminated Wells In Wainscott, Expands Survey

The expanded area where the Suffolk County Department of Health Services will be testing private water wells. COURTESY SUFFOLK COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES
Jan 9, 2018 2:21 PM

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services has expanded the parameters of its survey of private water wells near the East Hampton Airport in Wainscott after discovering four more wells contaminated with chemical compounds.

The number of private water wells found to be contaminated with perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, has increased from 59 wells previously reported in December to 63 wells as of this month, according to a press release from the Health Department issued last week. Of the 63 contaminated wells, three were found to have traces of PFCs higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s lifetime health advisory level of 0.07 parts per billion.

Test results have come back for 138 private wells sampled, with 75 wells having no trace of PFCs.

The area included in the survey now is bounded on the north by the airport, on the west by Town Line Road south to Montauk Highway, Sayres Path south to Wainscott Main Street, on the south by Wainscott Main Street, and to the east by Georgica Pond and Daniels Hole Road.

The expansion spreads the survey farther south of Montauk Highway than the original boundaries, which only went as far south of Montauk Highway as Merriwood Drive.

The department said the expanded survey area was based on U.S. Geological Survey groundwater elevation maps detailing current groundwater flow. The department added that the plan is to install groundwater monitoring wells to confirm the groundwater flow.

The department has been surveying the private water wells of residential homes between the airport and Montauk Highway since last August, when one well was found to have unregulated PFCs known as perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, and perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, above the EPA’s advisory level. Concerns arose after the East Hampton Airport, which is owned by the town, had indicated that products used or stored there may have contained PFOS and PFOA, including firefighting foam and coatings that repel water, oil, stains and grease.

On Tuesday, East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc issued a statement regarding the survey expansion. “We encourage residents within the survey area to have their wells tested free of charge by contacting the Suffolk County Department of Health Services Office of Water Resources at 631-852-5810,” the supervisor said. “The town will also continue to provide bottled drinking water free of charge to any property owner within the survey area.”

Water delivery can be arranged by contacting the Town Purchasing Department at 631-324-4183 or emailing jcarroza@ehamptonny.gov. The Suffolk County Water Authority is also developing a plan to provide public water to the area, should that become necessary, the supervisor said in the statement.

PFOS and PFOA have not been detected in the public drinking water supplies in the survey area, and Health Department staff members will be visiting homes in the expanded survey area to offer more information starting the week of January 15.

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And why is these products still on the market? Airports, fire departments and municipalities...
By knitter (1303), Southampton on Jan 5, 18 7:52 PM
Once again this reporter can’t get his facts straight. There is absolutely ZERO record, documentation or known history of any PFCs being stored or used at the aviation portion of the “airport” property. There have only been 3-4 aviation related accidents on airport property in the past 30 years and only one resulted in a fire. That one was extinguished with water only. The aviation fire truck only uses water. The PFC contamination came from the commercial and industrial property ...more
By localEH (301), East Hampton on Jan 6, 18 11:11 PM
Close the airport now
By mr. met (4), Sagaponack on Jan 7, 18 10:53 AM
Why? The aviation operations at the airport didn’t cause ANY of the PFC contamination. That came from the industrial park to the south of the airport.
By localEH (301), East Hampton on Jan 7, 18 2:18 PM
Van Scoyac, in his first appearance as Supe, said water quality is his #1 priority. I am sure that he has all the answers.
By pluff (35), East Hampton on Jan 7, 18 12:38 PM