Westfield to build water filtration unit, due to chemical issue

Recent well testing has shown normal levels of PFC

Photo: Thinkstock

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Westfield’s water worries may soon be over, but the work to fix them has just begun.

City officials have identified the problem, tested the water, and come up with a solution. Now, they just need to build it.

A water carbon filtration unit will be attached to the city’s wells 7 and 8, located on the grounds of East Mountain Country Club. The good news is that eight private well samples tested by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection came back with normal levels of the chemical PFC.

They tested 25 of the 150 wells within a one-mile radius of Barnes Air National Guard Base, which the city believes may have been the source of the problem. Years ago, the base used a fire-suppressing foam with the PFC chemical, which they believe seeped into the aquifer.

“We are hoping by the end of the summer or early fall, we will have that built, so we can begin the process of filtering the water in wells 7 and 8, and those wells will not be put back online until those wells have been up and running,” Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan said.

Barnes does not use the chemical foam any longer.

PFCs can also be found in stain-resistant carpet.

The Department of Environmental Protection still has more testing to get done.

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