Results Expected in 6-8 Weeks
On Wednesday, July 20, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) sampled all remaining wells in the City of Prescott water supply system for PFAS, a group of commonly used chemicals often found in non-stick cooking surfaces, cosmetics, stain-resistant carpet, water-repellent garments, and firefighting foam.. The wells that were recently sampled are all located in Chino Valley. Results are expected in six to eight weeks.
The Mayor, City Manager and Public Works staff held an initial meeting with ADEQ Liaison Morgan O’Connor to discuss priorities and next steps. City staff will meet with the full ADEQ team again in early August, and will continue to meet with them as needed. ADEQ is providing guidance as the City begins to plan for PFAS remediation.
Following the initial meeting with ADEQ, Mayor Goode said: “The quality and safety of our drinking water is of the utmost importance to me and our entire City leadership and staff. We will continue to work with the ADEQ and engineering firms to identify and implement a program to remove the chemicals from City water as quickly and effectively as possible.”
On July 8, the City of Prescott learned that recent test results found the presence of two types of PFAS chemicals called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in two of three water production wells located in the airport area. While PFOA and PFOS are not currently regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nor ADEQ, there is emerging research evidence to support the possibility that these chemicals may be harmful to human health.
The testing of the airport wells was part of a state-wide ADEQ testing of over 236 sites, primarily near airports and other areas where firefighting training took place. This is because the firefighting foam used in petrochemical fires such as those that may occur due to aircraft accidents, while highly effective at protecting lives and property, does contain these chemicals. ADEQ informed the City that 51 wells around the state showed levels higher than the recommended Health Advisory Level (HAL), including two of three City airport wells.
The City has a web page dedicated to this matter, including a link to the Town Hall video, past press releases and links to resources from ADEQ, EPA and other sources.