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Officials monitoring chemicals in groundwater on southside

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TUCSON - Tucson Water officials said they are continuing to closely monitor high concentrations of chemical compounds in groundwater on the southside.

In recent correspondence with city officials, Tucson Water Director Timothy Thomure said results from samples of groundwater near the Arizona Air National Guard “confirmed the high PFAS concentrations reported to the public this past summer."

“It is not yet known whether the concentrations will rise or fall into the future, and the results from the two sampling events (June and September) were relatively consistent,” Thomure told News 4 Tucson via email.

“Regarding a Plan of Action, currently ADEQ and Pima County are doing additional private (non-Tucson Water) well-sampling in the area to help better define the extent of occurrence and Tucson Water will continue to monitor the aquifer to protect our customers from PFAS compounds.”

Tucson Water does not use water from the affected area, and drinking water is not at risk.

However, the issue is a concern as the department works to protect future water supply, Thomure said.

Last year, the city voted to sue the manufacturing company $3 million and other companies after chemicals were found in wells near the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

Officials said firefighting foam produced by the companies is behind the contamination.

City Councilman Steve Kozachik said he wants to see both the state and the Department of Defense be held responsible for the contamination found near the Arizona Air National Guard.

They need to come in. They need to identify the plume, contain the plume, drill new wells to replace our lost capacity,” said Kozachik. “Not if, but when a drought is declared on the Colorado River, we're going to need that groundwater and it can't be polluted. We have to get ahead of that now.”

For more information on PFAS and Tucson Water, click here

Aalia Shaheed

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