On Friday July 8, the City of Prescott learned that recent test results found the presence of man-made chemicals called perfluoriooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in two of its water production wells located in the airport area. While PFOA and PFOS are not currently regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nor the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), emerging scientific thought is that these compounds may be harmful to human health. Results of sampling for these two wells showed levels of PFOA as high as 15 parts per trillion (ppt) and PFOS as high as 12 ppt, which is greater than recommendations by the EPA and ADEQ. The City took immediate action to shut down the two wells. More information will be forthcoming within the coming days.
Mayor Goode has provided the following statements:
“As the Mayor of the City of Prescott, I want to reassure our citizens that we are taking the recent news of PFOA and PFOS in two of our wells very seriously. Today (Monday), Mayor Pro Tem Rusing and I met with a team from our Public Works Department, City Manager’s Office and other City staff leadership to learn more about these test results and to begin the process of remediating the situation.
I want to let our citizens know that in 2018, the same City wells were tested by the ADEQ. Both wells passed, with levels far below the EPA guidelines at the time. Since then, the EPA has changed the requirement twice, to a far more stringent standard. ADEQ tested the wells again recently, and on Friday we learned that the two wells are now testing with levels above the new EPA guideline. Immediately on learning of these results, we shut down the two wells. Because of the redundancies built into our water system, there was no interruption in water service to our customers, nor do we anticipate any.
Be assured that the quality of our drinking water is of the utmost importance to me and our entire City leadership and staff. We monitor our wells monthly for contaminants, and publish those results online, and will continue to do so. We will work to swiftly and effectively remedy this situation. In the meantime, citizens can be assured that the quality of the drinking water is safe.”
For more information about PFOA or PFOS, please visit the City website at https://www.prescott-az.gov/
For information about the EPA Health Advisory and ADEQ actions, follow these links:
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)