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UPDATE: Preliminary Navy findings from drinking water testing near NAS Whidbey Island

12/20/16 12:00 AM

NAS WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. – The following update is provided as part of the Navy's ongoing community drinking water testing for the emerging, national environmental issue of PFAS (perfluoroalkyl substances).

  • As of Dec. 16, the Navy has received 83 preliminary lab results from drinking water sampling at private residence wells in the areas surrounding both NAS Whidbey Island's Ault Field and Outlying Field (OLF) Coupeville properties.
  • One hundred-twelve samples have been taken and sent for testing.  Of the total 83 preliminary results received, seven preliminary results are above EPA lifetime health advisory level established for two specific PFAS, perfluorooctane sulfonate, PFOS and perfluorooctanoic acid, PFOA. 
  • The Navy received 47 preliminary sample results from properties near OLF Coupeville and six results are above the EPA lifetime health advisory. 
  • The Navy received 36 preliminary results from properties near Ault Field and one sample result is above the life time health advisory.


Out of respect to residents' privacy, preliminary test-result data will only be released by the Navy to the affected residents. 

The Navy is providing drinking water to the owners of affected wells as we work to validate the data.  The Navy will update property owners on their validated results as they become available. 

Speculating on the cause of any positive results is inappropriate and premature until thoroughly investigated.

The Navy continues to work directly with residents, community leaders and other federal, state and local agencies on this important national issue and will keep the community informed while respecting the privacy of individual residents.

People in the sampling areas were notified by letter and can arrange sampling -- if they haven't already done so -- by calling 360-396-1030. We encourage residents in the sampling area to have their wells sampled.  

Updates and additional information on this project is available at 


The Navy continues to investigate drinking water sources at Navy Installations worldwide where (Perflourinated Compounds). PFCs are suspected - typically at locations with historic use of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), a highly effective, life-saving fire suppressant, which contained PFC ingredients. 

In Navy Region Northwest, this included investigating groundwater at NASWI and the OLF at Coupeville to determine if it is impacted from past releases of PFCs, which are classified by the EPA as unregulated or "emerging" contaminants and have no regulatory standards or routine water quality testing requirements.

The testing will help the Navy determine if additional actions are needed to protect human health and the environment.

The Navy, in cooperation with other federal, state and local environmental and health agencies, held public meetings on this effort Nov. 21-22 at Oak Harbor and Coupeville.  The Navy is planning follow-up meetings in February 2017.


MEDIA CONTACT                                                                  

Mike Welding

Public Affairs Officer

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island

Office:        360-257-2962

Cell: 360-914-7915



Leslie Yuenger

Public Affairs Officer

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest

Office: 360-396-6387

Cell: 360-340-5592