National Guard to begin testing groundwater in Westfield

Barnes airport is located on top of the Barnes aquifer

The control tower and a plane hangar at Barnes. (Image Courtesy: The Westfield News)

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The National Guard will soon begin testing ground water at Barnes Regional airport to determine if PFOS and PFOA chemicals are at high levels in the water.

The tests will also help determine if the high chemical levels could be linked to a firefighting foam that was used in the 70s and 80s at Barnes Regional Airport as well as several other guard, naval, and air force bases.

National Guard to test Westfield water, Barnes Aquifer

There have been previous studies conducted on the water that showed evidence of water from certain wells had elevated levels of the chemicals. This resulted in 3 wells being put offline.

Barnes airport is located on top of the Barnes aquifer, which is where the wells that have been shut down get their water from. Environmental coordinator for the guard, John Richardson says they are going to have a kickoff meeting next week to start the process of testing the water.

Once results from the water testing are back, Richardson says it’s unclear what steps would be taken next, because a link to the foam and contamination have not yet been determined.