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La Crosse making plans to test for hazardous chemical

Brad Williams

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The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wants to test dozens of wastewater treatment systems for a specific type of chemical. La Crosse has made the list.

The agency is asking to check those water systems for polyfluoroalkyl pollution (PFAS), which can cause health problems for pregnant women.

The superintendent of La Crosse’s wastewater treatment department, Jared Greeno, hasn’t gotten an official letter from the DNR, but he’s heard about the kind of tests that might be required.

The testing by Wisconsin cities is scheduled to be conducted within 90 days of receiving the DNR letter.

A couple of city wells near the La Crosse Airport have shown unusually high levels of PFAS, possibly as a result of firefighting foam being used at the airport in the past.

Greeno says PFAS aren’t commonly found in local sewage.

The DNR included La Crosse on a list of 125 wastewater systems to be examined.