In November 2017, Tyco Fire Products (Tyco) launched a detailed investigation of the nature and extent of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in portions of the Town of Peshtigo and City of Marinette near the Ansul Fire Technology Center (FTC), which is located at 2700 Industrial Parkway South in Marinette, Wisconsin.
The investigation is being conducted under the oversight of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). The United States EPA has issued a Health Advisory Level (HAL) for drinking water for two specific PFAS – perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS): that advisory level is 70 parts per trillion (ppt) (both compounds combined) in drinking water. This HAL was used as the criterion for identifying locations to be tested.
Two drill rigs were mobilized to collect off-site groundwater samples, and a mobile laboratory was then used to analyze the samples that were collected in an expedited manner. A total of 24 subsurface borings were drilled, with 98 groundwater samples collected at various depths within those borings. Data that was collected indicated combined PFOA and PFOS concentrations ranging from non-detect to 1,653 ppt.
Four samples of standing water within ditches on the FTC site were also collected and the combined PFOA and PFOS concentrations detected ranged from 417 to 4,620 ppt.
While the groundwater borings were still being completed, testing began on select private wells within the investigation area. The initial sampling area (Phase I) was defined based on the first sets of groundwater investigation results. A public meeting in the Town of Peshtigo was held with the DNR and DHS to inform the residents of the investigation area about the work underway, and the plan to study private drinking water wells. Bottled water was offered to all users of drinking water wells within the designated private well sampling area, and a toll-free call number was established so that residents had easy access to schedule sampling and obtain information.
As additional investigation data was obtained, the study area was expanded (Phase II). Since December 2017, 137 drinking water wells have been sampled. All wells where PFOA and PFOS were detected have been sampled a second time to verify the initial results. The combined PFOA and PFOS results were as follows:
Detections greater than the HAL (70 ppt): 11 wells (detections ranged from 73 to 1,900 ppt)
Detections found, but less than the HAL: 29 wells (detections ranged from 3.9 to 49 ppt)
Not detected: 97 wells
Point of Entry Treatment (POET) systems were offered to owners/users of drinking water wells where PFOA and PFOS concentrations were greater than the HAL. At this point, six POET systems have been installed, and two more are scheduled for installation.
On January 23, 2018 Tyco held a second public meeting in the Town of Peshtigo with DNR and DHS to present all of the data to residents in the study area, answer questions, and discuss plans for additional studies in the area.
As new data comes in and the investigation continues, we will provide regular updates on this site.