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Luke Air Force Base says drinking water is safe to consume after tests

Posted at 11:58 AM, Apr 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-10 14:58:51-04

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, AZ — Luke Air Force Base says drinking water there and at Gila Bend Auxiliary Field is safe to consume after concerns from an earlier test.

A site inspection was reportedly conducted in Fall 2017, looking at possible Perfluorooctane Sulfanate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) in the ground and surface waters.

There were concerns about PFOS and PFOA after past firefighting activities, Luke Air Force Base says. Preliminary tests found they were above the Environmental Protection Agency Lifetime Health Advisory level of 70 parts per trillion at Luke AFB.

PFOA and PFOS are synthetic compounds found in industrial and consumer products, including foam used to extinguish fires. It was used since 1970 at Luke AFB, but has since been replaced with a more environmentally friendly formula, the Air Force says.

“The EPA LHA standard is advisory only and pertains only to drinking water. The EPA has not established or mandated a nationwide enforceable standard for drinking water nor has it promulgated standards for ground or surface water. In the absence of a standard the Air Force uses the advisory levels for drinking water as the standard for ground and surface water during site inspections,” a news release said.

They are conducting an expanded test to determine whether other areas have been impacted, including nearby privately owned wells.

Gila Bend Auxiliary Field did not show any presence of PFOS or PFOA.

Read more about the tests here.