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Eielson and PFCs

This timeline serves as an update and a summary on the water quality of Eielson Air Force Base. We hope this information helps you become knowledgeable about the quality of your water.

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Timeline 

July 2014: Contractors with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers conducted a screening-level investigation of four sites on Eielson as part of an overarching investigation occurring across the United States at various U.S. Air Force facilities.  The purpose of this investigation was to make determinations about the presence or absence of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in the environment.  The two specific PFCs sampled were perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS).

January 2015: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested Eielson Air Force Base conduct PFC sampling in its drinking water wells following the results of the groundwater and soil tests conducted in July 2014. This was Eielson Air Force Base’s first indication PFCs may exist in the base drinking water. 

February-March 2015: The first drinking water sampling occurred and the results confirmed PFOS were in three of Eielson’s six drinking water wells which exceeded the non-regulatory health advisory values of 0.2 parts per billion (ppb).  During the time of sampling, the drinking water had 0.35 ppb of PFOS.  The remaining three wells fell under the health advisory limit for PFOS.  Eielson Air Force Base immediately switched to a well which produced water below the EPA health advisory values for PFOS at a concentration of 0.04 ppb.   Sample results for PFOA concentrations at all locations were below the health advisory limit of 0.4 ppb.

April 2015: Eielson Air Force Base conducted quarterly PFC sampling and validated both PFOS (0.06 ppb) and PFOA (0.00 ppb) were below their respective health advisory values.  Additionally, an Iceman Insider article was published on 19 April in an effort to educate consumers and maintain confidence and transparency with our drinking water quality.

July 2015:  Eielson Air Force Base conducted quarterly PFC sampling and validated both PFOS (0.08 ppb) and PFOA (0.02 ppb) were below their respective health advisory values. 

October 2015:  Eielson Air Force Base conducted quarterly PFC sampling and validated both PFOS (0.15 ppb) and PFOA (0.04 ppb) were below their respective health advisory values. 

March 2016: Eielson Air Force Base’s drinking water team reviewed all viable options and determined upgrading the water treatment plant with granular activated carbon (GAC) was the best option for long-term water system sustainment and providing exceptional water quality to our consumers.

April 2016:  354 Civil Engineer Squadron upgraded the water treatment plant with two GAC units, capable of removing PFCs from drinking water.  Additionally, Eielson Air Force Base conducted PFC sampling and validated the filtration system removed 90% of PFCs from drinking water.  PFOS and PFOA were measured at 0.02 ppb and 0.00 ppb, respectively.

May 2016: The EPA released a more stringent health advisory value for PFCs.  The new value set individual measurement of both PFOS and PFOA at 0.07 ppb individually as well as a combined cumulative value of 0.07 ppb

July 2016: Eielson Air Force Base conducted quarterly PFC sampling and validated the new filtration system failed to maintain PFC levels below the new EPA health advisory value.  Specifically, PFOS was measured at 0.07 ppb while PFOA was measured at 0.03 ppb.  Although water results complied with each individual health advisory value, the combined PFC concentration was 0.10 ppb exceeding the cumulative PFC health advisory of 0.07 ppb.  Eielson Air Force Base immediately switched to Well 7, which had an individual and combined PFC concentration of 0.00 ppb.  The base populace was immediately notified.    New filtration media was ordered by 354 CES. 

August 2016:  354 CES completed GAC filtration media replacement and use of Well 7 was discontinued.  Sampling after filtration change-out validated PFC concentrations met the individual and cumulative PFC health advisory at a concentration of 0.00 ppb.

September 2016:  The contract to permanently upgrade the water treatment plant with six GAC filtration units was awarded.  The completion of the water treatment plant upgraded is anticipated by summer 2017.

October 2016:  Eielson Air Force Base conducted quarterly PFC sampling and validated both PFOS (0.05 ppb) and PFOA (0.01 ppb) were below the cumulative health advisory value at 0.07 ppb. 

 

Eielson Air Force Base’s Future Outlook

In the meantime, Eielson’s objectives are to:

  • Educate consumers with up-to-date information while continuing to provide exceptional potable water. 
  • Continue assessing the drinking water via routine sampling.
  • Support an AF-wide study of PFC contamination and collaborate with Federal and State regulators to determine the best course of action for our installation. 
  • Continue to provide updates on your water system through publications released by Public Affairs and annually with our Consumer Confidence Report. *Next delivery is scheduled for June, 2017

Numerical Representation of Timeline:

 

Parameter

 

Provisional Health Advisory

Value

(ppb)

March 2015

April 2015

July 2015

October 2015

April 2016

Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)

0.4

0.10

0.00

0.02

0.04

0.00

Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS)

0.2

0.35

0.06

0.08

0.15

0.02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parameter

 

Health Advisory

Value

(ppb)

July 2016

(Initial)

July 2016

(Well 7)

August 2016

 

 

Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)

0.07

0.03

0.00

0.00

 

 

Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS)

0.07

0.07

0.00

0.00

 

 

Cumulative [PFOA + PFOS]

0.07

0.10

0.00

0.00

 

 

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Eielson Air Force Base’s drinking water team is committed to providing its on-base community with clean and superior drinking water.  You may learn more about PFCs, what the Air Force is doing to address this emerging contaminant and view the 2016 Consumer Confidence Report at:

Eielson Environmental page

For more information or questions regarding PFCs, contact the 354th Medical Group Bioenvironmental Engineering Flight at (907) 377-6687 or the Eielson Air Force Base Public Affairs Office for more information or with questions at (907) 377-2116.

AF PFC News

Missed Deliveries

If you are affected by a missed water delivery, please contact:

Air Force Maintenance Contractor at: (907) 456-4751 ext. 120

In case of emergencies, limited water is available for pick-up at:

Moose Creek Lodge
3560 Old Richardson Highway
488-9378