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Test of wells around NAS Jax show water safe to drink

Navy was testing for chemicals used in firefighting foam

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Results of samples taken from 19 private drinking-water wells around NAS Jacksonville found all were below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's lifetime health advisory for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances -- or PFAS -- chemicals used in firefighting foam.

A Navy news release Wednesday said all property owners were notified of the results and no more testing will be conducted at this time.  

The Navy voluntarily began testing the wells within identified areas around the base earlier in August as part of its commitment to ensuring area drinking water supplies are not impacted by past Navy use of chemicals aboard the air station. 

PFAS have been used for many years to make products that resist heat, stains, grease and water, and have been used in a variety of products and substances, such as non-stick pans; water-resistant textiles and sprays with water-resistant properties.

The most common historical Navy use of these chemicals has been firefighting foam used on Navy installations. This foam is the most effective way to put out petroleum-based fires, such as an aircraft accident.

In June 2016, the Navy issued a policy to identify areas of potential release of these materials to the environment.  As part of this policy, the Navy tested for the substances in and around NAS Jacksonville.

Drinking water on the base is produced by NAS Jacksonville’s Public Works Utilities Division and is supplemented by JEA.  Both systems have previously tested for PFAS, which were below the detection level.

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