LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Luke Air Force Base is providing bottled water to people who live or work near the base after receiving drinking water sample results.
According to a press release from Luke Air Force Base, Air Force Civil Engineer and Valley Utilities Water Company recently did a sampling of drinking water on base and found the presence of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) "at levels above the Environmental Protection Agency's lifetime health advisory for drinking water."
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) and Valley Utilities Water Company, recently completed sampling of distribution points that provide water to homeowners and businesses just east of Luke Air Force Base to determine the level of dissolved PFOS/PFOA compounds in drinking water. After receiving results from the lab, officials started distributing bottled water to residents Tuesday.
The AFCEC is planning to install a filtration system that will address the PFOS/PFOA levels in water. The system should be up and running in April.
Right next to the base is Luke Elementary school. Officials with the Dysart Unified School district were notified on Monday the water they’ve been cooking lunch with and giving to students; the water kids have been drinking from could be contaminated.
“We’ve obviously all been dealing with COVID for some time now, and we got notified yesterday; now we have a water issue,” said Renee Ryon, spokesperson for Dysart Unified Schools.
“Water is everywhere, drinking fountains, washing our hands, used in the cafeteria for cooking foods, ice in the ice machine. Lots of adjustments have to be made. They have to now bring in outside water, outside ice to do any of the cooking,” said Ryon.
Affected residents and businesses should already have been notified and may receive bottled water with a photo ID and copy of water bill or letter received from Feb. 23 to March 22 at:
The sampling was done as part of the Air Force's investigation to assess potential impact to drinking water from PFOS/PFOA. The compounds were used in many industrial and consumer products, and in aqueous film-forming foam used by commercial industries and the armed services to extinguish fuel fires. For questions regarding water distribution, residents should contact the hotline at 1-844-610-8899.
The City of El Mirage released the following statement regarding the water advisory near Luke Air Force Base:
“The City of El Mirage wants to reassure its water customers that El Mirage drinking water is safe. The City’s dedicated team maintains all City wells and works directly with county and state agencies to ensure adequate testing and quality water for residents. El Mirage water meets all applicable public health standards, and City staff are closely following Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updates on this item. If you would like more information on the Luke AFB advisory, click here. City of El Mirage water quality reports can be found here.“