LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The Environmental Protection Agency issued a health advisory establishing a threshold concentration of two chemicals that have been found in some drinking water.
Fort Sill is seeking permission to test the water wells of some private landowners surrounding post for those chemicals.
The chemicals PFOS and PFOA are in the foam that firefighters have been using for years.
The EPA has now deemed these chemicals potentially hazardous when found in amounts higher than 70 parts per trillion.
“We’re sampling on reinstallations where it may have been used we’re looking to see if in some of those ingredients may be in the groundwater and we’re trying to make sure that nobody is drinking groundwater above the EPA’s new standard,” said Fort Sill Environmental Chief Glen Wheat.
Fort Sill Environmental Chief Glen Wheat says the Army has an even lower level they will allow, at 40.
Wheat says they’ve found traces of these chemicals in the groundwater along the southern boundary of Fort Sill, East of the interstate, and west of East Cache Creek.
Now they’re asking for owners of private drinking wells surrounding the installation for permission to test their wells for these chemicals.
“We’ve searched the Oklahoma water resources board database and there aren’t any registered wells in the area but we suspect there may be some older wells that are in that database. Our goal is to get those folks to let us sample their wealth to ensure that their water is safe you know,” Wheat said.
The areas Fort Sill is hoping to test are located within the area bounded by the Installation Boundary to the North, Fort Sill Blvd to the West, Cache Rd to the South, and Flower Mound Road to the East as well as continuing south along the I-44 corridor towards East Gore Blvd.
“The effects are not totally known research is still ongoing many of the effects are suspected but not proven and again is a lifetime health advisory so this is not I took a drink and I immediately have effects this is a number that if you were going to drink that water for your lifetime it could could have an effect so you know we don’t really know all of the effects yet and again we’re trying to be overly cautious,” Wheat said.
He says there’s no reason to panic, and that past testing of the City of Lawton’s municipal water supply did not detect PFAS within the city’s drinking water, which is the same drinking water that Fort Sill receives.
To ensure no one off post is affected by these chemicals, Fort Sill is reaching out to homeowners by mail that receive drinking water from private wells to test for PFAS at no charge to the homeowner.
To see that map or inquire about well testing, you can go to https://sill-www.army.mil/usag/dpw/environmental/