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Nearly half of tested wells on French Island have “concern” levels of PFAS

Brad Williams

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The number of private wells showing hazardous levels of PFAS close to the La Crosse Airport continues to grow. 

La Crosse County supervisors have learned that nearly half of the 230 wells tested north of the interstate…48 per cent…have PFAS levels above the amount which should prevent people from drinking or cooking with the water, leading to what the DNR considers an emergency situation. 

Supervisor Margaret Larson says the state DNR has been providing bottled water to those homes.

Larson says the city of La Crosse has not yet tested water near the site of a 1970 plane crash, where high PFAS levels were recently measured.      

She also says airport firefighters who used foam containing PFAS could have health problems after their exposure, because they were told the foam was “harmless.”

“They realize they should have been decontaminating after each use, whether it was in a practice fire or addressing the real thing,” said Larson.    

The DNR and the city have arranged with a private company to test about 90 more wells on French Island over the next 90 days.         

   

   

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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