GROTON, CT (WFSB) -- Groton and the Naval Submarine Base in town are on alert for the cancer causing chemical PFAS.

It’s the chemical that is posing a health threat nationwide, and because it’s used in firefighting foam, the Naval base is alerting those who live on it and near it.

A meeting is being held Tuesday evening, focusing on an certain area where the Navy believes PFAS could be present.

PFAS has been used by the Navy to fight fires, and officials said it’s been used on and around the naval submarine base in Groton since the late 1960s.

Because PFAS is now known as a “forever chemical,” meaning its toxic presence never goes away, the Navy is going through all the times the chemical has been used.

In Groton, they found at least 15 known or potential releases of the foam.

They test the public water quarterly and it has always come back fine.

Mayor Keith Hendrick said the water is tested at two points in the filtration process. 

"We sampled at the terminal reservoir and we sampled at the end before it goes out to the main header," Hendrick said. 

The concerns are for those in a specific area, which covers parts of Route 12, Crystal Lake and Pleasant Valley Road, who also get their water from private wells.

The Navy says it amounts to about 50 people and right now, they are no confirmed cases of the “forever chemical” in their drinking water, but they want to test, just to make sure.

“The majority of people are on public water and this is not of a concern, but there are some people who are on private drinking water wells and we want to make sure they’re safe. Neighbors health and safety is our primary concern,” said Christopher Zendan of the Naval submarine base in New London.

There is no immediate threat in Groton, but that could change depending on tests.

"I'm a little nervous. My cats drink the water, my children drink the water. It's a little unsettling," said Julie Perry. 

Perry is one of an approximate 50 homes in Groton that may be at risk. She and her daughter live in the shadows of the Naval submarine base where they's been storing and using PFAS for years. 

"If that's migrated to ground water and impacted private drinking water well, we want to find out about it," Zendan said. 

The navy will do those tests for free for folks who live in the potentially-affected area.

"If there could be any potential impact from PFAS, we will eliminate that, we will provide them with drinking water until a long term solution can be found. That long term solution may be establishing a connection to a public water supply," Zendan said. 

Anyone in the affected area with well water should get their water tested. Residents can reach out to the base to get the testing done for free. 

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.