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MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- A drinking water well contributing to the industrial side of the Mountain Home Air Force Base water system has levels of Perfluorooctane Sulfanate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Health Advisory Level. Tap water in the affected areas may exceed the advisory level.

The affected area includes but is not limited to the Woodland Grove neighborhood, Child Development Center and Youth Center. The water system in the area east of Gunfighter Avenue including the rest of base housing is unaffected.

Base officials recommend those who are pregnant, lactating or use water for infant formulas use alternative water sources until water is below advisory level. Bottled water will be available at Fire Station #1 (Bldg 206) 24 hours a day beginning at 4 p.m. Sept. 23.

Col. Jefferson O'Donnell, 366th Fighter Wing commander, will be hosting three Town Halls followed by a Q&A session at the base theater next Thursday, Sept. 29 at 10 a.m., 2 and 6 p.m.

Out of an abundance of caution, we have publicized this notice ahead of tap water results. Water sample results from the drinking water well confirmed increased levels of PFOS/PFOA on Mountain Home AFB. This is above the USEPA Health Advisory Level of 70 parts per trillion (ppt). The contribution of this well to the water system means it is possible that water available for consumption may also be above 70 ppt.

What should I do? What does this mean? 
  • Although the health effects are inconclusive, studies reviewed by both the CDC/EPA indicate that long-term exposure to PFOA and PFOS over certain levels may result in adverse health effects, including developmental effects to fetuses during pregnancy or to breastfed infants (e.g., low birth weight, accelerated puberty, skeletal variations), cancer (e.g., testicular, kidney), liver effects (e.g., tissue damage), immune effects (e.g., antibody production and immunity), thyroid effects and other effects (e.g., cholesterol changes).
  • EPA’s health advisory levels were calculated to offer a margin of protection from a lifetime of exposure against adverse health effects to the most sensitive populations: fetuses during pregnancy and breastfed infants. The health advisory levels are calculated based on the drinking water intake of lactating women, who drink more water than other people and can pass these chemicals along to nursing infants through breastmilk.

  • Boiling, freezing, or letting water stand does not reduce the PFOS/PFOA level. 

What is being done? 

  • The well with PFOS/PFOA has been shut down and is no longer contributing water to the water system. Water from this well will be out of the water distribution system by Sept. 28, 2016.

  • Bottled water will be provided at Fire Station #1 (bldg. 206) 24 hours/day until water is below advisory level. 

  • Bioenvironmental Engineering is performing additional sampling to determine the full scope of the PFOS/PFOA level in the tap water. The results of these samples will be made available to the base population as they become available.

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If you have any questions or concerns please contact 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs at 208-828-6800.