Most of Spokane region not impacted by water contamination

SPOKANE, Wash. - Despite the water crisis just outside the city limits, most people in the Spokane area do not need to be concerned with the chemicals recently found in groundwater in Airway Heights.

Testing of two wells that supply water to the City of Airway Heights indicated high levels of Perfluorooctanesulfonic and Perfluorooctanoic acids. That led to the city calling for residents to use bottled water immediately until the chemicals could be flushed.

KXLY4 News heard from many viewers, wanting to know if drinking water was safe in the City of Spokane and the other surrounding areas.

According to Spokane Public Works spokesperson Marlene Feist, those whose drinking water is supplied by the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer do not need to be concerned about their drinking water. Most of the greater Spokane area gets its water from that aquifer. While not part of routine testing, the City of Spokane did test wells for PFOS and PFOA in 2015 and there was no cause for concern.

Airway Heights gets its water from a different aquifer and geology prevents the two aquifers from mixing, according to Feist.

The City of Spokane does have a pipe that extends into Airway Heights and often provides water in the summer months for irrigation. Backflow prevention devices, however, keep the water from Airway Heights from flowing back into the Spokane Aquifer.

For more information about PFOS/PFOA testing and the EPA, visit this website.