Satellite Beach Groundwater Tests Positive For Cancer-Causing Chemicals

Foam used for aircraft fires has contaminated military bases across the U.S. (U.S.A.F. photo by Senior Airman Kia Atkins)

SATELLITE BEACH, Florida – The City of Satellite Beach announced today that they city’s groundwater tested positive for chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage, thyroid damage, increased uric acid levels, increased cholesterol, and immune system damage.

Satellite Beach tested the groundwater for chemicals originating from Patrick Air Force Base after a report revealed that all 28 groundwater monitoring stations on Patrick Air Force Base tested positive for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and/or perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) – chemicals that are used to extinguish aircraft fires.

The City tested three sites with newly dug wells on City-owned property to reduce the possibility of sample contamination, since these chemicals are often present in materials used for the construction of wells.

The results for each site are as follows: City Hall, 41.5 parts per trillion; Jackson Avenue property (next to Satellite High School), 22.85 parts per trillion, and Sea Park Community Park 30.13 parts per trillion.

As a benchmark, the Environmental Protection Agency has established a provisional health advisory level for drinking water regarding these compounds, which is 70 parts per trillion (ppt).

The PAFB concentrations ranged from 71 ppt to 4.3 million ppt for 28 different monitoring wells.

“The City is currently discussing these results with state and county experts as to how exactly this impacts our residents,” said City Manager Courtney Harris Barker.

For now, the city is advising residents to use their own judgement to handle irrigation water on their property.

The U.S. Air Force has already denied reimbursing communities in Colorado that are now faced with having to pay millions to clean up the toxic fire-fighting chemicals that seeped into the aquifer.
The Florida Department of Health is investigating a possible cancer cluster in Satellite Beach, Florida where some residents have maintained that chemicals from the air force base caused an unusually high rate of Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the late 1960’s and 1980’s in the small South Patrick Shores subdivision.

City staff and Tetra Tech will be available for a community meeting on August 5, 2018 with Dr. Julie Greenwalt regarding the cancer cluster research.