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Santa Fe County Announces Grant to Investigate PFAS in La Cienega and La Cieneguilla Areas and Limited Well Water Test Results from Those Areas
Santa Fe, NM- In response to the disclosure earlier this year that Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS) were found in groundwater samples collected at the Army National Guard Santa Fe Readiness Center (121 Aviation Dr. Santa Fe NM 87507), Santa Fe County (County) proactively sought to identify whether PFAS was present in groundwater in the La Cienega and La Cieneguilla areas. Today, it announced test results from a limited number of wells and the award of $459,000 in funding from the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) for further investigation in these areas.
Communities across the country are confronting the presence of PFAS in surface water and groundwater. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PFAS are manufactured chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products since the 1940s. The EPA believes that exposure to different PFAS may lead to a variety of health effects. The EPA has established health advisory levels for different PFAS in drinking water. (For additional information from the EPA concerning PFAS, go to https://www.epa.gov/pfas.)
The County sampled groundwater from six (6) different wells in the La Cienega and La Cieneguilla areas. Test results received this week showed the presence of PFAS in samples from five (5) of the wells. Only three of the wells had PFAS above the current EPA health advisory levels, however. Importantly, the main production well for the La Cienega Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association did NOT test positive for PFAS.
Here are the results by well for PFAS with established health advisory levels:https://www.santafecountynm.gov/uploads/documents/PFAS_Chart02.pdf
(For the location of the wells tested by the County and complete test results, go to Quick Info on the following page https://www.santafecountynm.gov/public-works.)
These test results do NOT mean that PFAS is present in water drawn from a specific private domestic well. In that regard, the EPA recommends that all private domestic well owners conduct regular testing for PFAS. (For a list of certified water testing laboratories, go to https://www.env.nm.gov/drinking_water/sampling-and-analysis.)
These test results do NOT apply to the City of Santa Fe or County of Santa Fe water utility systems. Recent test results of the supply for these systems did NOT detect PFAS. (For the City of Santa Fe and County of Santa Fe water utility system supply test results, go to Quick Info on the following page https://www.santafecountynm.gov/public-works.)
Technologies do exist to reduce PFAS in drinking water. For information about such technologies, go to https://epa.gov/sciencematters/reducing-pfas-drinking-water-treatment-technologies.
The County intends to utilize the NMED grant funding to further investigate the prevalence of PFAS in the La Cienega and La Cieneguilla areas. This will help understand the nature and extent of the potential impact to groundwater in these areas.
For additional information, please contact Olivia Romo, Communications Coordinator at 505.986.6224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.