West Plains property owner learns chemicals contaminated water

A property owner in the West Plains learned in a letter, that was hand delivered and explained to her by Fairchild Air Force Base, that chemicals had contaminated her water.

Millwee Holler-Kanaga was visited twice in the last week by the Air Force Base. The first time to ask permission to test her well water, and the second to tell her that chemicals from firefighting foam the Air Force uses on their base got into her water.

Her main concern is whether people who have been drinking the water are affected. That’s because the foam has been in use since the 1970s, up until the EPA issued an updated health advisory in 2016 for PFOA and PFOS, chemicals found in the firefighting agent. The Air Force is now taking action following that health advisory.

On the EPA’s website, it says exposure over certain levels can lead to developmental effects, cancer, or tissue damage.

Along with the fact sheet, the Air Force delivered bottled water to Millwee and will continue to do so. A release says that she was one of 16 homes that were affected.

“They’re going to put regulators on our wells to test it,” she says.

The bottled water is a temporary solution. The Air Force says they’re still working on a long term solution that will be in place in 3-6 months.

The testing on Air Force bases is going on nationwide. Fairchild tested their own wells and found chemicals in five of its non-drinking wells.

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