Soglin: City working to mitigate chemicals in drinking water

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- City of Madison officials are working with the Department of Natural Resources, Dane County and the Wisconsin National Guard are working to mitigate the contamination of drinking water, thought to be coming from Truax Field.

According to the City of Madison, per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), have been found at low levels in two municipal wells.

PFAS-containing foams have been used for firefighter training and fire emergencies in the Madison area near Truax Field and the Dane County Regional Airport since the late 1970s or early 1980s. The City has been working with the Wisconsin Air National Guard regarding remediation of the training sites.

Testing in 2017 done by the City of Madison Water Utility indicated that Wells 15, near East Towne Mall, and 16, near Memorial High School, had small amounts of PFAS contamination, and were not considered a potential threat to human health.

"The Madison community wants PFAS-free drinking water. The PFAS contamination at Madison municipal well #15 more than likely originated at Truax Field," said Mayor Paul Soglin in a letter to Captain Shaw of the Wisconsin Air National Guard.

Well 15 is located less than one mile from the Wisconsin Air National Guard base at Truax Field.

"I understand that the Guard is taking appropriate action to prevent future PFAS releases to the environment, and I appreciate that effort. Still, I would like to see more action on known PFAS contamination that has migrated off-site," said Soglin.

Soglin is requesting additional groundwater, surface water and sediment testing as well as a request for immediate environmental restoration at Truax Field.

Madison Water Utility is continuing to test the water at the two wells to determine if levels are increasing.

City staff are meeting regularly to create a City work plan to continue monitoring the situation, as well as identify if and when there is a need for additional action.