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Water in Airway Heights safe to drink

Water in Airway Heights safe to drink

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. - During a press conference Thursday afternoon, the City of Airway Heights said the water is now safe to drink.

The Air Force will discontinue delivery of bottled water to affected residents at 10 p.m.

Water in Airway Heights had previously been unsafe to drink for more than three weeks.

Since May 16, residents and businesses in Airway Heights have been forced to use bottled water after contaminants used for fighting fires at Fairchild Air Force Base were found in the city's water wells.

The city began a process of flushing water through the wells in an attempt to rid it of contaminants above EPA lifetime Health Advisory levels.

“We refused to wait for the conclusion of a full site investigation before doing what we could to find immediate solutions to ensure the health and wellbeing of our families, neighbors and community members,” said Col. Ryan Samuelson, Fairchild Air Force Base commander. “As soon as we had actionable information, we acted, and will continue to do so in cooperation with our local and regional partners. We'll take whatever immediate actions are necessary and feasible as we continue to investigate the extent of the PFOS/PFOA contamination and how both military and non-military sources may have contributed to this issue over the years."

The Air Force will continue to provide bottled water to private well owners whose wells have been sampled by the Air Force and are above the EPA’s lifetime HA levels for PFOS/PFOA until a long-term solution is implemented.

"Our support to our affected private well owners does not stop, nor does our continued look at what other private wells may need to be tested in coordination with the Air Force Civil Engineer Center,” Samuelson stated. “We will continue to provide clean drinking water to affected well owners until a long-term solution is identified and implemented. Our AFCEC team met with all affected well owners last week to discuss individual solutions."

More information about PFOS/PFOA and the Air Force’s response can be found here: www.fairchild.af.mil/PFOS-PFOA-INFO.