A recent groundwater analysis of the location of the Madison Gas and Electric transformer substation fire last summer found PFAS traveled from the site to Lake Monona.
According to The Cap Times, the American Transmission Company commissioned an analysis that found one location to contain concentrations of toxic PFAS exceeding the state’s proposed standard of 20 parts per billion.
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A sample of surface water near the transformer showed a PFAS concentration of 890 parts per trillion, while the storm sewer system showed a concentration of 568 parts per trillion and an outlet into Lake Monona under Blount Street showed a concentration of 79 parts per trillion.
PFAS are chemicals that are thought to be carcinogens and could cause health problems, according to the Cap Times. The report revealed that the first responders to the MGE fire used an agent known to contain the PFAS found in the analysis.
The report was published to the DNR’s Environmental Cleanup & Brownfields Redevelopment site Sept. 9 and details that around 80 total soil, water and oil samples were collected between July 19 and Aug. 8 of 2019 for testing.
This is not the first time Madison has run into PFAS in its water, as Madison Water Utility shut down Well 15 in March as a precautionary measure until the Department of Health Services gives groundwater recommendations, which are expected in fall of 2020.