Private well testing reaching end of phase one

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – The sampling of private water wells is under way in Westfield and the first round of testing may soon be done.

The sampling of the wells is being done by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), and is testing to see if there are levels of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in private water wells. According to Catherine Skiba, service center manager for MassDEP’s Western Regional Office, the first round of sampling, which had an initial target of 25 wells, should be done by the end of the week.

“We’ve done two days of sample collection and to date we have collected samples from 17 business and residential wells,” Skiba said.

She added that the results are expected “by the end of the month or beginning of June.”

Previously, it was reported by The Westfield News that MassDEP was working along with the city and Barnes Air National Guard to investigate the extent of ground water contamination in Westfield related to PFCs.

Previously, the city and MassDEP identified 150 total private wells that were within a one-mile radius of public water supply wells one, two, seven and eight. Of those, 25 of the wells’ users were notified of the request from MassDEP to test the wells.

If the wells are found to have been impacted during this first phase, MassDEP has previously said they will then go through a second phase of testing. Additionally, if levels are found that may pose a health risk, then MassDEP has said that they were prepared to supply bottled water, as well as potential water treatment systems for homes, if needed.

In a previous article from The Westfield News, Skiba said that the tests could cost around $300 per sample, with funding being obtained from the state.