Watch CBS News

Horsham Community Meeting Focuses On Water Safety

By Trang Do

HORSHAM, Pa. (CBS) -- Concerns about water safety are growing in parts of Bucks and Montgomery counties.

Tests have shown chemicals from firefighting foam in the groundwater there, leading to the shutdown of 16 municipal wells and about 80 private wells.

Hundreds of people came out to the Horsham Community Center Tuesday night to find out about chemicals known as PFOA and PFOS, their potential effects and what is being done to protect the water supply.

The Environmental Protection Agency says studies have shown overexposure to these chemicals is linked to developmental effects in fetuses and infants and certain types of cancer.

"We're actually getting a GAC filter at our house," said Lauren Weinblatt of Horsham. "Just for peace of mind."

The chemicals are linked to the former Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Willow Grove, the former Naval Air Warfare Center in Warminster and the Horsham Air Guard Station.

"Right now, we're in the process of identifying the most likely places where it would have gone into the groundwater and the best places where we can attack the problem and basically treat it," said Greg Preston, director of the Navy's BRAC Program Management Office East.

Last week, the EPA lowered the acceptable levels for PFOA and PFOS in groundwater. Horsham, Warminster and Warrington Townships took eight public wells offline as a result, in addition to the eight wells previously taken offline in 2014.

"If you are getting municipal water from Warminster, from Horsham Township or from Warrington Township, the water is safe to drink," Preston said. "I have a bottle right there and I'm drinking it myself."

The Navy is providing bottled water to homes on private wells with high levels, until they can be hooked up to the public system.

State Rep. Todd Stephens, R-Montgomery, who lives in Horsham, wants more to be done.

"I think the Navy also should be paying for blood tests for our residents, so we can know whether we've been exposed to these compounds and to what extent," he said.

Another open house will be held Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Horsham Community Center.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.