The City of Portsmouth's Water Division has been actively working with the United States Air Force (Air Force), theUnited States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) in response to the detection of elevated levels of the unregulated contaminant perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) from the Haven Well, one of three wells that serves the Pease International Tradeport and the New Hampshire Air National Guard base at Pease. PFOS is one of a class of chemicals known as PFCs or perfluorochemicals. Because the level of PFOS exceeded the "provisional health advisory" set by the EPA, the well was shut down by the City of Portsmouth on May 12, 2014 and since that time it has been physically disconnected from the system. A number of actions have been taken by the project team. The following documents provide additional Information:
- Pease Water Supply Update 08/13/14
Pease well monitoring and sampling results: :
The Air Force's consultants under the direction of the EPA and DES and in cooperation with the City of Portsmouth have been sampling PFCs in and around the effected Portsmouth drinking water wells. Once validated, this data is posted below:
Portsmouth Water System PFC Sampling Summary
All of the Portsmouth water sources were sampled for Perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in May 2014 by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES). Samples were also taken in two locations of the City’s water distribution system (one at the DPW on Peverly Hill Road and another at the meter pit in New Castle). All of the Portsmouth water sources were also sampled as part of the USEPA’s third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 3). Four rounds of UCMR3 sampling were performed between July 2014 and April 2015. Those sample results were below the laboratory’s reporting limit for all PFCs.
In June 2016 the NHDES sent out a request to all community and other non-transient water systems to voluntarily collect a water sample for PFOA and PFOS and share the results with NHDES. They also recommended that a lab certified or accredited to complete EPA Method 537 with detection limits of at least 5 nanograms per liter (parts-per-trillion or ppt) be utilized. Following this request Portsmouth water operations staff sampled for PFCs. A second round of sampling was performed in November. The lower reporting limit revealed that the Greenland well results had an average level of 9 ppt of PFOS. It should be noted that the levels were also flagged by the laboratory as “J” values, which means that they were an estimate. The following documents provide a summary of this sampling:
May 18, 2016 - In-Home Treatment Information from NHDES: Click here for the document
December 11, 2015 - Information from NHDES about the use of carbon filters to reduce PFC levels:
The following document provides information that the NHDES provided to the Tenants Association at Pease regarding the use of carbon filters: Click here for the document
November 17, 2015 - Pease Well Treatment System Design Announced:
The City of Portsmouth, the Pease Development Authority and the United States Air Force are pleased to announce the execution of an agreement that will expedite the development of a water treatment system to remove perfluorochemical compounds (PFCs) from water supplied by the Smith, Harrison and Haven wells. Click here for additional information
March 31st, 2015 - NH Department of Health and Human Services Announces Protocol for Pease Blood Testing
On Tuesday, March 31st, 2015, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) hosted a public meeting to respond to any questions and inform the public on blood testing protocol. The Division of Public Health Services is offering testing to people who consumed water from the Pease Tradeport water system that was determined in May 2014 to have levels of PFCs (perfluorochemicals) above the provisional health advisory levels set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
If you have any questions regarding the blood testing process, please contact the DHHS Emergency Services Unit at (603) 271-9461, and visit http://www.dhhs.state.nh.us/dphs/investigation-pease.htm for access to additional documents and information.
March 16th, 2015 - NH Department of Health and Human Services Presentation and PFC Fact Sheet
On Monday, March 16th, Rick Cricenti, Director of the Emergency Services Unit, NH Department of Health & Human Services, addressed City Council regarding the Haven Well contaminant detection and subsequent blood test funding. He provided the following fact sheet on Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs). To view his presentation,
scroll to 1 hour and 3 minutes here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yslGbM83Xik
May 23, 2015 - Public Informational Meeting to Discuss Drinking Water Issues at Pease Tradeport
Concord, NH - The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Public Health Services, and the City of Portsmouth will host a
public informational meeting to discuss and answer questions about the discovery of an unregulated contaminant, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, at a level that exceeded the "provisional health advisory", in the drinking water supply that serves the businesses and tenants at Pease Tradeport. Anyone with concerns or questions is invited to attend this informational session.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 6:00 PM
NH Department of Environmental Services Offices
222 International Drive, Suite 175
Date: May 22, 2014
On Monday May 12, 2014, City of Portsmouth staff were notified by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) that water sampling results for the Haven Well showed that perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, an unregulated contaminant, exceeded the provisional health advisory levels recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency. The Smith and Harrison wells also had levels of this unregulated contaminant in their water but they were well below the advisory levels. As a precautionary measure, the City took the Haven Well immediately off line as recommended by NHDES Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau. Therefore, all sources of supply currently serving the Pease Tradeport Water System are below the provisional standard
To summarize key points: