A step toward less contaminated water

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Contractors and personnel from Dover Air Force Base finished installing whole-house water filtration systems on four properties along Bay Road April 2. These wells were earlier identified as having perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoic acid contamination above Environmental Protection Agency lifetime health advisory levels.

The chemicals, found in many locations around the country, came from firefighting foam. They can cause health effects: cancer, liver damage, decreased fertility and increased risk of asthma and thyroid disease.

The wells were identified after water sampling in July 2019. The base will sample again in the spring to make sure the filtration systems are working properly. Until then, residents were advised to continue using bottled water provided by Dover AFB.

The base will perform regular maintenance on the filters, including replacing them if needed. Since the used filters are considered hazardous waste, Dover AFB will follow federal and state standards to dispose of them, a public affairs representative said.

The installations are a step in Dover AFB’s continued commitment to providing clean drinking water to affected properties in an effort to protect public health. Dover AFB continues to work with the city to achieve a long-term solution.

Dover’s utility committee gave the base permission to connect those properties to city water without property annexation in October. The mayor and city manager said they expect the base to lead and pay for the work.