Our local water contamination stemmed from Department of Defense activities at the former Naval Air Development Center in Warminster, PA and The Willow Grove Navel Air Base and Air Reserve Station in Horsham PA. The surrounding areas are at risk for exposure.
PFAS know as Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluoroooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) were found in drinking water wells near NASJRB Willow Grove.
As of March 2018, more than 650 private drinking water wells have been sampled.
One hundred sixty nine (169) of the sampled wells exceed the lifetime health advisory combined levels of 0.07 micrograms per liter of water for PFOS 0.4 micrograms per liter of water for PFOS and PFOA. There are 108 properties receiving bottled water.
Eighty-one (81) of the 95 private drinking water wells have been converted to municipal water and the remaining 14 are being provided bottled water until they can be connected.
Seventy (70) private drinking water wells above 0.04 micrograms per liter of water, but below the health advisory level of 0.07, are continuing to be monitored.
Community Health Impact
Are associated with adverse health effects including several types of cancers
Can cross the placenta & have been detected in human breast milk
Affect growth, learning, and behavior in infants and older children
Associated with dyslipidemia and kidney disease
Associated with second generation health effects and early puberty in children
Prenatal exposure to PFAS associated with:
Immune-related problems, such as asthma and reduced vaccine effectiveness in early childhood.
While initially contamination was identified in the areas directly adjacent to the Navel Air Warfare Center Warminster and the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Willow Grove, we now know that soil and water contamination has spread the contamination significantly farther.
Upper Dublin, Bensalem, Cheltenham, and Northampton are among the area towns with wells that at some point have been sampled with levels of PFAS at least 20 parts per trillion. In Vermont, which has the strictest water-safety regulation in the country, that level would be deemed unsafe.
Warminster’s highest public water PFOA level was 350 ppt
Warminster has 3rd highest public water PFOS level in the U.S. (1,100 ppt)
Willow Grove site on-base water supply well tested PFOS at more than 240 times the EPAs limit (19,000 ppt)
Willow Grove site ground water samples in 2017 showed total PFAS at 4,285 times the EPA limit (up to 300,000 ppt)
The area has recorded among highest public drinking water level for PFOA/PFOS combined (1,290 ppt)
All 3 area water utilities are among the top 10 utilities with the highest PFHxS/PFOS combined levels sampled in the U.S.
Below are direct links for more details on how each township is working towards remediation and efforts to deliver clean water to residents. Link are also provided to Aqua and North Wales Water Authority - both providing many area residents with supplemental and/or replacement water:
Warminster Water Authority - https://www.warminsterauthority.com/
Horsham Water Authority- https://www.horshamwater-sewer.com/
Warwick Water - http://wtwsa.org/
Warrington Water - http://www.warringtontownship.org/departments/water-sewer/
Northampton Water - https://nbcmatoday.org/
North Wales Water Authority -http://www.nwwater.com/index.php/hwsa-customers
Aqua Water Company - https://www.aquaamerica.com/our-states/pennsylvania.aspx
Make Polluters Pay
Communities should not be responsible for the cost of clean water, blood testing or health monitoring. Concerned residents are burdened with cost of:
Home filtration systems
Medical bills associated with exposure
Decreased property values