More private well test results released

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – As results from private well testing continue to come in, two more homes have been reported to have tested for perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) above the lifetime advisory limit provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Two more homes have had private wells that tested for PFCs above the EPA lifetime advisory limit of 70 parts per trillion (ppt), which gives a total of three homes with private wells that have tested above the limit in the city so far. All three homes are located on Lower Sandy Hill Road.

The tests results were released in the latest update and letter provided by MassDEP on their website, which was dated July 5. The first home that tested above the limit had a reading of 864 ppt according to a table in the letter, the latest two tested at 141 ppt and 787 ppt, respectively.

“Thirteen years we’ve been here,” Ed Lopez, a resident affected on Lower Sandy Hill Road, said. “What’s the effect of us drinking the well water? My main concern is will there be effects down the road?”

Lopez lives with his wife at the home with the reading of 141 ppt, and at one point was also living there with his daughter.

Lopez said that those helping them, such as the city, including Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan who visited Lopez, and MassDEP officials, have been “very nice” to him but the concern still remains about the effects.

He said that MassDEP also did provide water for the family, in what he called a “cooler,” which alleviates the problem of ingesting the possibly contaminated water but he said it is an inconvenience. Plus, you cannot do everything you normally do with the water.

“We still shower and brush our teeth with the water from the well,” he said. “We don’t cook with it or drink it.”

According to Catherine Skiba from MassDEP, Lopez and others affected were provided with water and eventually, will be provided with filtration.

“All three homes are being provided water and the treatment systems are under design and will be installed in the next couple weeks,” Skiba said. “All the surrounding homes are on city water to the best of our knowledge.”

Still, for Lopez, the filtration system may not be enough.

“Even with the filtration we don’t think we’ll drink the water,” he said.

The tests are part of a continued effort by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), along with the city and the Air National Guard at Barnes Regional Airport, to investigate the possible effect of PFC contamination of groundwater and private wells.

Also according to the letter, 41 total private wells have been tested and 65 access agreements were issued, which are used to help schedule sampling of the water.

MassDEP Private Well Sampling – PFC’s: 

Westfield Private Well Sampling (MassDEP)