PHOENIX — The U.S. Air Force is distributing bottled water to Arizona residents and business owners near Luke Air Force Base whose drinking water showed high levels of contaminants.
A statement by the base said water testing detected levels of perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonate “above the Environmental Protection Agency’s lifetime health advisory for drinking water.”
The so-called “forever chemicals” were detected during tests of water from Valley Utilities Water Company.
There are almost 700 sites, according to the Environmental Working Group, likely contaminated with PFAS
The chemicals impacted the water supply for about 6,000 people in 1,600 residences in Glendale, Litchfield Park and unincorporated Maricopa County, base spokesperson Sean Clements said.
Impacted residents began receiving bottled water at a distribution center Tuesday morning.
“The Air Force has long roots in Glendale and Maricopa County, and we share community concerns about the potential impact of these compounds on drinking water,” Luke Air Force Base commander Brig. Gen. Gregory Kreuder said in a statement.
Two more wells near a military base in Delaware have elevated levels of chemical contaminants, according to state environmental officials.
The compounds have been found in numerous locations after their previous widespread use in many industrial and consumer products and in foam used by commercial industries and the armed services to extinguish fuel fires.
The EPA’s lifetime health advisory concerning the chemicals is not an enforceable regulation, the Air Force said.