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Madison’s Well 15 to remain offline for foreseeable future

MADISON (WKOW) — Madison Water Utility announced Tuesday it will not bring Well 15 online for the foreseeable future.

27 News reported earlier this year the well was being shut down because of PFAS contamination.

Earlier this summer, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommended a groundwater standard of 20 parts per trillion (ppt) for two PFAS compounds called PFOA and PFOS. At Well 15, PFOA and PFOS measure at a combined 12 ppt, well below that recommended level.

Madison Water Utility said despite this, the well will remain out of service out of an abundance of caution. It will wait until DHS recommends groundwater standards for an additional 34 types of PFAS, which it is currently investigating. These recommendations are expected in the fall of 2020.

PFAS are a widely used class of chemical compounds found in firefighting foams, nonstick cookware, water-resistant clothing, food packaging, carpet and upholstery. The compounds are extremely difficult to break down are now showing up in dust, air, groundwater, and lakes, rivers and streams.

PFAS treatment at Well 15 is not included in the Water Utility’s 2020 Capital Budget request.  However, $82,000 to perform an alternatives analysis study for the well is projected for 2021.

Emily Friese

27 News Producer

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