Elyse Gabor | January 18, 2022
“Forever chemicals” were found in Sioux City’s drinking water. The Iowa Air National Guard base is a possible source of the contamination.
The Iowa DNR tested a well in Sioux City and found the two PFAS in December. The cancer-causing chemicals perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl, also referred to as PFAS, can be found in many household items. These items include non-stick cooking utensils, firefighting foams, and more.
The well is located around a mile and a half west of the base. Utility director for Sioux City Brad Puetz is confident that the firefighting foam used at the airbase is the cause of the chemicals.
A higher concentration of PFAS were found in one treatment plant than in untreated water. The city has two treatment plants, with the Southbridge Regional Water Treatment Plant holding a quarter of the city’s water. This plant blends with the other plant’s treated water. PFAS were not detected in the other plants’ water. To track the contamination rate, the city is testing the drinking water every few months.