Navy testing drinking water conditions in Atlantic


ATLANTIC, Carteret County - Atlantic is home the Marine Corps outlying landing field. It's also the subject of recent water testing.

Testing is being done because of the potential for runoff of certain chemicals from the Cherry Point airfield called perfluoroctyl sulfonate (PFOS) and perflourooctanoic acid (PFOA). These are found in plenty of common products but in this case, it comes from the firefighting foam used to combat plane fires.

Mike Barton, Communications Officer at Cherry Point, said tests don't indicate any presence of the compounds but it's better to be safe than sorry.

"The Navy is testing drinking water at all navy and marine corps airfields just to be proactively safety conscious for the public," Barton said. "We want to educate you on what this stuff is, what the chances are. We don't know what we don't know so the key thing is that we just test it so we can look you in the eye and say 'yup you definitely don't have it in your water'."

Toxicologists said it's unknown at this time the effects the compounds have on humans but they do know they can harm animals. John Wheeler, a toxicologist, recommends anyone in the area sign up for the test.

"It relieves any tension that you may have had over whether or not the material is present there and I think that if the Navy's early testing shows that there isn't the material here, these tests will confirm that finding," Wheeler said.

The tests are free and all you have to do is register your well to be inspected. The results will come back as early as the end of the month.

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