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Well Water Testing Program

A major source of PFAS contamination that STEEP is addressing on Cape Cod is the use of aqueous film-forming foams (AFFFs), a class of firefighting foams used to fight fuel fires.  These AFFFs have been used in fire training activities at the Barnstable County Fire/Rescue Training Academy and the Joint Base Cape Cod. Additional sources of PFAS contamination may include landfills, septic systems, and wastewater treatment plants. The public water supply in Hyannis, MA, has responded to PFAS contamination by installing activated carbon treatment to remove PFAS from the public water supply. However, private well owners are not required to test for PFAS, so there is little information about the extent of PFAS contamination in Cape Cod private wells.

Launched on April 24, 2018, the CEC’s Well Water Testing Program will be testing for PFAS in 50 private wells each year for five years throughout Cape Cod.  The goals of the program are to improve our understanding of the extent of PFAS exposure; to detect potential sources of groundwater contamination; and to help STEEP research projects identify sites for further testing.  Our results on Cape Cod will help to reduce PFAS exposure and address similar contamination concerns throughout the U.S. and globally.  Cape Cod private well owners can sign up for the study here.

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