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Groundwater at Hagevig Center shows signs of contaminant, but no risk to drinking water

June 27, 2019 – News

The City and Borough of Juneau has completed an initial round of soil and groundwater testing for PFAS, or manmade chemicals, at the Hagevig Fire Training Center. One of these chemicals, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), was detected on the property. Though PFOS has known health risks if ingested in drinking water, drinking water in this area (as well as throughout most of the CBJ) is supplied by the CBJ municipal water system — not from individual wells — and there are no known risks to public health from Juneau’s municipal drinking water.

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation requested the soil and groundwater testing because of the historic use of Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFFs) at the site during fire training activities. Some types of AFFFs contain PFAS, like PFOS and PFOA. PFOS/PFOA testing is ongoing in many communities in Alaska and around the U.S. CBJ hired Cox Environmental to perform the testing and analysis work. Cox Environmental will perform a second round of PFOS/PFOA sampling to define the extent of the groundwater impacts. 

An initial review of water utility data indicates that all properties with dwelling areas within a half mile of the Hagevig Fire Training Center are connected to the municipal water system. CBJ is also working with Cox Environmental to perform a well search in the vicinity of the Hagevig Fire Training Center to confirm there are no drinking water wells being used in this area. If you own property on Sherwood Lane, Engineer’s Cutoff, Peterson Street, or Crazy Horse Drive, you will be contacted by Cox Environmental to determine if there are any wells on your property. Nearby residents can also reach out to the CBJ Engineering Department at 586-0800 if you have information about private wells.

Again, there are no known risks to public health from Juneau’s municipal drinking water related to PFAS. The source of CBJ’s municipal water is from Last Chance Basin and the Salmon Creek Reservoir, both of which are far removed from sources of PFOS/PFOA. For more information on PFOS/PFOA, please refer to the Alaska DEC PFAS website at https://dec.alaska.gov/spar/csp/pfas/ and EPA’s website at https://www.epa.gov/pfas/basic-information-pfas. The CBJ will provide updates as additional information becomes available. 

For more information, please call the CBJ Engineering Department at 586-0800.