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DAFB installs filters at some area wells with high PFAS levels

Delaware Public Media

The Dover Air Force Base recently took steps to help nearby property owners affected by groundwater contamination from the base.

The base installed water filtration systems at four Dover properties with wells found to have elevated levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)—each part of a group of synthetic chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).  

The contamination is a result of firefighting foam previously used on the base. 

Technical Sgt. Chuck Broadway is a spokesperson for the 436th Airlift Wing. He says the affected properties will continue to receive bottled water from the base until it is confirmed the filters are working. 

“We’re going to do further sampling on the properties that have the house filtration systems installed sometime later in the spring of this year to ensure the water filtration systems are working properly,” said Broadway.     

Broadway adds the filters are a short-term solution. 

“Dover Air Force Base is continuing to work with the City of Dover to connect affected properties to the municipal water system. That could take over a year to complete,” he said. “Therefore, we felt that the filtration systems needed to be installed to ensure clean drinking water is provided until that long term solution is reached.”     

Eight wells in all have tested with high levels in the Dover area.

Four wells tested last summer were found to have PFAS levels up to 24,000 times higher than a federal health advisory.

The two most recent wells to test high were discovered in February. The base is not releasing the testing data for those wells.


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