WINDSOR LOCKS, CT (WFSB) – There are concerns over “firefighting foam” that seeped into the Farmington River.
It happened last weekend, but now there’s a warning not to eat fish caught in a portion of the river in the Windsor area.
People who use are the river are concerned about the long-term impacts.
“You don’t know what this chemical is, how long it’s going to stay in the river. I mean, even five years from now, I won’t go fishing in this river,” said Donald Wassell from Windsor.
Donald Wassell fishes along the Farmington River every chance he gets, but he says he will now transfer to Barkhamsted to cast his line because of concerns over contamination.
An advisory from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection remains in place to not eat the fish caught in the Farmington River between the Poquonock Avenue area and the Connecticut River.
That’s because foam leaked from a fire suppression system at the signature flight support’s facility at Bradley International Airport.
Signature flight released a statement that a malfunction occurred around 2 p.m. on Saturday, causing a leak.
The company said it also worked with local and state officials on the clean-up.
DEEP says it appears the fire suppression foam has been removed from the water, but the agency is waiting for test results to confirm the water is safe again.
The fire suppression system used a PFAS foam, made from one group of chemicals that contains fluorine.
Peter Zac, head of DEEP’s emergency response and spill division says the substance is used in several household items. He says it’s the high water level in the Farmington River that became a concern.
Jack Albino, who runs a canoe tour company, worries lingering fears over the contamination will hurt his business.
“Throughout the years, it’s been getting cleaner and cleaner, and then now we have this things that’s been going on with the chemical spill,” Albino said.
Anne Hulick, State Director for Clean Water Action, says her organization pushed for a bill limiting the usage of PFAS fire foam. The bill died this past session.
Hulick says these chemicals take a long time to break down and can get absorbed in the soil.
“The clean-up of these chemicals is really, really difficult and that’s why our bill was trying to prevent these kinds of contaminations,” Hulick said.