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'Forever chemicals' found in 18 private wells near Fairfield dairy farm

Impacted homeowners are being advised to use bottled water.

FAIRFIELD, Maine — More than a dozen homeowners in the town of Fairfield are being advised to use bottled water after their well water was found to be tainted with high levels of "forever chemicals."

Investigators from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have tested nearly 40 residential wells and water supplies near the Toxier Dairy Farm. 

So far, 18 wells have levels of PFAS chemicals that exceed the EPA's safe limit.  

State environmental officials have expanded their testing of water supplies after the discovery of high levels of industrial chemicals known as PFAS at the Tozier Dairy Farm.

Earlier this year, tests revealed levels that exceeded the EPA's safe limit were found in the farm's milk, soil, and feed.

The farm's milk supply was pulled off the shelves this summer. The source of the contamination is believed to be wastewater bio-sludge spread as fertilizer, legally allowed to happen for decades. Impacted residents can get 30 days of donated bottled water from the town but there is concern that supply may run out. 

"We don't have the confidence that the supply will be maintained especially if the number of wells continues to grow,"  Michelle Flewelling, Fairfield Town Manager said.

The DEP says it plans to install water filtration systems for impacted homeowners, possibly early next year. 

Click here for more information from the Centers for Disease Control on PFAS in private well water.  

For botted water information, resources, and contact information for state agencies involved in the PFAS investigation from the Fairfield town office, click here.