Officials from Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) Gulfport, determined in private drinking water wells tested for PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) of communities surrounding NCBC Gulfport is safe for consumption.
The Navy’s PFAS testing and response goes beyond the Safe Drinking Water Act requirements for protecting its neighbors. According to Lisa Noble, NCBC Gulfport, installation environmental program director, an independent contractor conducted the testing Feb. 21 and March 21, 2019, and an independent laboratory reported the results of the 14 private drinking water wells tested.
For 13 of the drinking water wells, there was no detection of PFAS. Only one non-drinking shallow well had a detection for PFAS, and the results were well below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lifetime health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for the perfluoroalkyl substances – specifically perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). These substances were used in fire-fighting foam by the Fire Department and for fire-training activities in the past. The well owners were notified of the results on Apr. 26, 2019.
According to Noble, there is a few hundred feet plus difference between a groundwater monitoring well and a drinking water well, which is considerably deeper. NCBC Gulfport, the cities of Long Beach and Gulfport, and all private drinking water wells tested did not exceed the EPA lifetime health advisory of 70 ppt.
Only private drinking water wells were tested because residents on city water systems of Long Beach and Gulfport. These were examined as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Unregulated Contaminated Monitoring Rule, and PFOS and PFOA could not be detected. In addition, drinking water on NCBC Gulfport received a non-detect from its results, which means no drinking wells on or off the Naval installation are found with PFOS/PFOA chemicals.
In June 2016, the Navy issued a policy to identify areas of known, or potential, PFAS release to the environment. As part of this policy, the Navy tested for PFOS and PFOA in water wells on board the installation and tested private water wells around NCBC Gulfport within one mile downgradient of from the know site where fire-fighting foam was used.
More information about the Navy’s PFAS initiative and drinking water testing program may be found at: http://www.secnav.navy.mil/eie/pages/pfc-pfas.aspx. Please contact the NCBC Gulfport Public Affairs Office at 228-871-3662 or 831-241-1339 if you have any questions.