MAYVILLE – The Jamestown Post-Journal says fire training foam is the likely source of a chemical showing up in the village of Mayville water supply late last year.
Water specialist Bill Boria with the Chautauqua County Health Department reported to the village board this week that a state investigation says the fire training foam that was used near the former Mayville school between 2014 and 2018 appears to have leached into the village water supply, resulting in the high levels of perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) being discovered in three of the village’s water wells.
The discovery led to a do-not-drink advisory being issued for two weeks in December.
Boria said that lab testing on animals has shown that high doses of PFNA has caused adverse effects on the liver, thyroid, and immune system, and also contributes to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. There’s also some evidence that it delays growth and development.
Boria added that because the fire training was only done during a five-year period, it’s unlikely there was a legacy contamination, meaning residents were exposed for a significant period of time.
The chemicals that were used in firefighting foam, which caused the higher PFNA, have since been removed and are no longer used today.
Meanwhile, the village has switched to a new well and it continually has tested free of PFNA.
Village officials are exploring options for its water system so it’s not relying on only one well in the future.
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