Some Wainscott residents who live by East Hampton Airport and drink private well water are being offered bottled water while the well water is tested, officials said on Friday.
The Town of East Hampton is supplying the bottled water as a safety precaution during testing for two unregulated chemicals the EPA calls “contaminants of emerging concern,” the Suffolk Department of Health Services said.
The two pollutants — perfluorinated compounds known as PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) — were found in 63 private wells near the airport.
This prompted the Suffolk department, after consulting with the state, to conduct more tests of private wells.
The health department said the new area to be tested is “bounded on the north by the East Hampton Airport; on the west by Town Line Road to Montauk Highway and then Sayres Path to Wainscott Main Street; on the south by Wainscott Main Street; and to the east by Georgica Pond and Daniels Hole Road.”
PFCs have been used in industrial and commercial products such as firefighting foam, as well as coatings that repel water, oil, stains and grease, it said.
People can be exposed to PFOS and PFOA through air, water, or soil from industrial sources and consumer products.
The East Hampton Airport indicated it had used or stored items that might have contained the two contaminants, Suffolk health said.
As a result, the state asked Suffolk to sample nearby drinking water supplies, it said.
However, PFOS and PFOA have not been found in the area’s public drinking water wells, Suffolk said.
Residents with general questions about health effects of perfluorinated compounds can call the state Water Quality Hotline: 800-801-8092, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Residents who are unsure if they are served by public water can call the County Water Authority at 631-698-9500.
Residents with private wells who have questions about private well water in Suffolk County or who would like their wells tested can call the county Department of Health Services Office of Water Resources at 631-852-5810.
For more information about PFCs, see the county Department of Health Services website.
For more information on perfluorinated compounds, see USEPA Fact Sheet: PFOA & PFOS Drinking Water Health Advisories.