The city of La Crosse is concerned about well water contamination in nearly 130 homes.
The Wisconsin DNR recommended La Crosse investigate contamination near the airport after municipal wells tested for elevated levels of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in 2014 and 2016. PFAS are manmade chemicals that have been linked to cancer and other illnesses. Experts believe the source is firefighting foam.
The City of La Crosse announced Monday that the City is working with environmental consultants, The OS Group, on the issue.
“I know there are a number of communities with well and water supply next to airports that are having to deal with the same issue, so we are doing everything we can to protect the public’s health and safety, especially when it comes to their drinking water supply,” La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat said.
At this time, the extent of the contamination is uknown. Recent sampling indicated low levels of affected groundwater may be moving off site in a southeasterly direction. The city plans to offer testing to residents downstream from the airport.
“The proposed standards are very, very low,” John Storlie, a hydrogeologist for the State of Wisconsin said. “They are 20 parts per trillion. That is like 20 eyedrops in an Olympic-sized pool.”