The Suffolk County Department of Health announced on Friday, January 5, it has expanded its private well survey in Wainscott around the East Hampton Airport following the detection of perfluorinated compounds known as PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) in 63 private wells.
According to a release issued by East Hampton Town officials on Tuesday morning, three private wells have shown PFOS and PFOA levels above the Environmental Protection Agency’s lifetime health advisory level of 0.07 parts per billion. PFOS and PFOA were not detected in 75 of the 138 private well samples collected and tested by the county. The expanded survey area not includes properties south of the East Hampton Airport that lie east of Town Line Road and Sayres Path, west of Daniel’s Hole Road and Georgica Pond and north of Wainscott Main Street.
“We encourage residents within the survey area to have their wells tested free of charge by contacting the Suffolk County Department of Health Services Office of Water Resources at (631) 852-5810,” said Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc. “The Town is working closely with Suffolk County Department of Health Services, The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Suffolk County Water Authority, and our State and County elected representatives to identify the source of the contamination and provide the resources necessary to ensure safe drinking water for our residents. The Town will also continue to provide bottled drinking water free of charge to any property owner within the survey area. Contact the Town Purchasing Department at (631) 324-4183 or email email@example.com to schedule water delivery. Suffolk County Water Authority is also developing a plan to provide public water to the area, should that become necessary.”
According to county officials, those with homes in the survey area that are connected to public water do not need to have their water tested. PFOS and PFOA have not been detected in the public water supply wells serving that area.
PFCs are currently unregulated, but according to the town, the EPA has identified both PFOA and PFOS — used in a number of industrial and commercial products such as firefighting foam and coatings that repel water, oil, stains and grease — as contaminants of emerging concern and issued a lifetime health advisory level to protect sensitive populations, such as fetuses during pregnancy and breast-fed babies, against potential adverse health effects.