TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is dedicating $3.3 million in funding to a project it’s conducting in Tucson to prevent contaminated groundwater from getting into the city’s drinking water system.
The funding — which comes from the ADEQ’s Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund — will go toward capturing perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), which are man-made chemicals that can be harmful to humans and potentially lead to harmful health outcomes including low birth weight in infants, cancer and adverse effects on the immune system, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA has located multiple areas of groundwater across Tucson contaminated with PFAS with levels above the administration’s Health Advisory Level and some of the groundwater is at risk of advancing into the city’s drinking water supply wells, according to a news release from the ADEQ.
Because of possible contamination, 18 drinking backup water wells have been shut down, decreasing the city’s well capacity by about 10 percent.
Officials with Tucson Water told the ADEQ contamination from the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is a priority threat to the community’s water supply and a contributor of PFAS contaminants, the release stated.
Right now, the Department of Defense and the ADEQ are investigating the source of PFAS contamination from federal facilities in Tucson.
For more information about PFAS contamination in Tucson and what the ADEQ is doing about it, click here.