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Wright-Patt treating tainted water in contaminated drinking wells

Two tainted drinking water wells that serve thousands at Wright-Patterson started pumping water in June after a more than year-long shut down, an environmental official says.

The latest drinking water samples pumped out of the two tainted wells show the treated water has nearly “non detectable” indicators of contaminants typically found in firefighting foam, according to Raymond F. Baker, 88th Civil Engineer Group branch chief.

RELATED: Closed Wright-Patterson drinking water wells could reopen

Crews built a $2.7 million water treatment system that uses charcoal filters to strip contamination out of the water. Two groundwater production wells in Area A exceed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency health advisory limits of 70 parts per trillion for lifetime exposure to perfluooctanoic acid, or PFOA, and perfluoroctanesulfonic acid, or PFOS, results show. The contaminants typically have been found in fire fighting foam sprayed at Wright-Patterson, officials have said.

Before treatment, one well show contaminant levels around 700 parts per trillion and the second at about 200 parts per trillion, Baker said Thursday. Wright-Patterson started pumping drinking water out of the wells on June 2., he said. Contamination forced shutdown of the wells in May 2016. At the time, a health advisory was issued for pregnant women and infants.

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The Miami Valley base has six drinking water wells in Area A that serve 16,500 people, according to Wright-Patterson spokeswoman Marie Vanover.

The base has four additional drinking wells in Area B. Wright-Patterson has an estimated 27,000 employees.

The Ohio EPA has had concerns a groundwater contamination plume could reach seven city of Dayton water production wells at Huffman Dam near the military installation.

RELATED: City stopped pumping water from well field near Wright-Patt

The Huffman Dam wells, shut down in April as a precaution, remain closed, according to Michele D. Simmons, a city water department environmental manager.

In June, the city tested groundwater monitoring wells on the site which showed contamination levels were below the EPA threshold of 70 parts per trillion, she said in an email Thursday.

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