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Work continues to address contaminants at Mountain View

Following the latest round of water sampling in mid-February the Department of National Defence (DND) is continuing to provide bottled water for a few neighbours of Canadian Forces Detachment Mountain View as work continues to address the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS) and benzene found near the detachment last May.

“Since spring 2021, we have taken concrete steps to address this issue. To this end, we are monitoring the drinking water of homes in our sampling program near the detachment, and are conducting further environmental studies both on the detachment and in surrounding areas,” stated Capt. Marie-Eve Bilodeau Public Affairs Officer, 8 Wing/Canadian Forces Base Trenton, in a media release.

“While PFAS levels in all residential wells in our sampling program are below Health Canada’s PFAS screening values and guidelines, four properties are currently above the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MECP) interim advice value for PFAS,” Bilodeau states. “Two properties have also tested above the provincial guidelines, but below federal guidelines, for benzene.”

The cause of the presence of PFAS and benzene is unknown, and Bilodeau noted further studies are needed to determine potential sources of the contamination.

“However, out of an abundance of caution, we are providing bottled drinking water to all properties with wells having PFAS and benzene levels above the provincially-recommended levels for drinking water. We will continue to provide bottled water at these locations until we have determined a long-term solution. This work is being done in collaboration with local health units, provincial regulators, and the affected property owners.”

To protect privacy of residents, the sampling areas remain confidential.

PFAS were found in surface water and groundwater on CFD Mountain View property. The presence of PFAS on CFD Mountain View property is thought to be related to the past use of firefighting foams for training, as well as past waste management practices at the detachment’s landfill. From the mid-1940s until the closure of the detachment’s fire hall in 1997, DND conducted firefighter training on the detachment. At times, firefighting foams containing PFAS were used during training. These activities were conducted according to the accepted practices and regulations of the time.

Benzene at the inner landfill and the former firefighter training area at the detachment was also found. The presence of benzene on the property is thought to be related to past fuel use storage and practices at the detachment.

Residents with questions about our testing program can contact the 8 Wing Trenton public affairs office at 613-392-2811 ext. 4565. Health-related questions about water quality can be directed to Hastings Prince Edward Public Health at 613-966-5500.

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  1. SM says:

    PFAS contamination is more widespread and insidious than one might expect. CBC ran a story on PFAS last year. https://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/nov-7-fast-radio-bursts-in-our-galaxy-monkeys-with-a-puberty-switch-and-more-1.5789388/forever-chemicals-can-have-far-reaching-consequences-need-more-regulation-in-canada-scientists-say-1.5789395
    It was believed that one had to ingest the chemical in some fashion: in drinking water, from non stick coatings, for example. Recently some studies are suggesting that these chemicals can be absorbed through the skin.
    The CBC story indicates that CFB Trenton is a location with multiple PFAS hotspots.

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