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New plant filters contaminated water at Pease

It may take years before filtered water will reach wells tainted with chemicals from the base -- residents say they are fed up with waiting for something to be done.
Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine

PORTSMOUTH (NEWS CENTER Maine)--Stopping the flow of contaminated water is the goal of a new water treatment plant unveiled Friday at the former Pease Air Force Base.

Man made chemicals known as PFAS, were discovered in a major drinking supply well at Pease.

The contaminants have been linked to health problems including testicular and kidney cancer.

Friday morning, Senator Jeanne Shaheen toured the 9 million dollar system.

It uses carbon and resin beads to filter contaminated ground water.

It also prevents the tainted water from leaching into residential drinking wells in Newington, which borders the base.

Residents are using filtration systems on their wells for clean drinking water, but it is expected to take years for clean water to reach their wells.

'The Air Force is concentrating on the big population here, but a lot of these people are here five days a week for 8 hours a day, we are living with this thing 24 hours a day seven days a week,' said Ted Connors, Newington Selectman.

There are 20 more contaminated areas at Pease that still needed to be cleaned up.

The Air Force has spent 35 million dollars on water treatment systems and testing to deal with the contamination at the former air base.