DEP launches investigation into Doylestown-area private water well contamination

  • Laura Benshoff/WHYY

The former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove and present day Horsham Air Guard Station is shown Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Horsham, Pa. The military is checking whether chemicals from firefighting foam might have contaminated groundwater at hundreds of sites nationwide and potentially tainted drinking water, the Defense Department said.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

The former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove and present day Horsham Air Guard Station where the military is checking whether chemicals from firefighting foam might have contaminated groundwater at hundreds of sites nationwide and potentially tainted drinking water. The DEP is investigating whether the same chemicals are present at dangerous levels in the Doylestown area.


Last month, the federal Environmental Protection Agency instituted more rigorous health advisory levels for chemicals called polyfluorinated compounds or PFCs.
Suddenly, a well on Easton Road in Bucks County known to contain PFC’s was above the new, stricter cutoff.
As of 2016, the new recommended lifetime exposure level in drinking water for two PFCs — known as PFOS and PFOA — is no more than 0.07 part per billion. The contaminated well near the Cross Keys Place shopping center clocked in at 0.24 ppb.
“That well was taken offline almost immediately,” said Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Virginia Cain, later confirming that the contaminated well served 240 connections, most of them businesses. According to the Bucks County Courier-Times, that well was known to register high levels of PFCs as early as 2015.
The DEP announced Tuesday it will fan out and test the approximately 250 private wells in a 1-mile radius from the contaminated water source.
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