KILLINGWORTH — Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, were detected in three wells serving the age 55+ Beechwood Community, but only one of the wells exceeded state guidelines. Officials at Connecticut Water assured residents that the water, once treated, is safe to drink.
Three wells registered levels of PFAS greater than 10 parts per trillion. Only one well exceeded the state guidelines of 70 ppt for the total accumulations of five specific PFAS chemicals in drinking water.
Connecticut Water stated in a release that because drinking water is treated, the guidelines “apply only to the treated water and not the individual wells.”
PFAS are a group of long-lasting chemicals that are used in some firefighting foams and a range of products from non-stick pans to food packaging. The EPA identifies PFAS with a variety of adverse human health effects.
The Beechwood wells are located near the Haddam-Killingworth Middle School and the Killingworth Elementary School, town hall and library.
The town of Killingworth is working with state officials to identify the source of the PFAS contamination, and has tested other wells in the area for contamination. The tests typically take two to four weeks for results, and the local schools have started using bottled water as a precaution, according to a news release from Killingworth First Selectman Catherine Iino and Director of Health Amy Scholz.
“The local and state health departments have identified no immediate health threat, and they are not issuing a recommendation to alter consumption of water inside the home at this time,” said Iino and Scholz in the release. “We do not yet know the source or extent of the contamination. DEEP is analyzing the geology of the area and will reach out to initiate testing for PFAS in private home wells based on the risk analysis.”
Connecticut Water will hold a forum for Beechwood residents at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 25.
The Town of Killingworth will hold an online public forum at 7 p.m. on Thursday to provide residents with information about the chemical PFAS and the contamination. Experts from the Connecticut Department of Public Health, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Connecticut Water will be available to answer questions.