After pollution was discovered in Tucson, immediate shut down of the wells was done. There were toxic chemical compounds found in dangerous concentrations of water in wells at the north of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. The two compounds that were discovered in the well were PFOS and PFOA. These compounds are commonly used in the manufacture of carpets, stain resistant fabrics for furniture, clothing, and as part of a firefighting foam at Air Force Base. The two wells that were contaminated near Davis-Monthan were used for a short period, during the hottest time of the year which was around one to two months, and the other one was used as a spare well to pump water for 20 to 40 minutes after several months.
According to records, D-M used the firefighting form compound for four decades. These compounds are said to be linked with the study to form kidney and testicular cancer, and reproductive and developmental problems. The Air Force replaced these compounds with Aqueous Film Forming Foam, which is an environmentally friendly substance. It is the most efficient method of extinguishing petroleum fires. Since the pollution was discovered in 2016, it registered a rise in 2017 which raised a lot of concerns to the officials.
These issues lead to the Tucson council taking legal actions against chemical giants 3M and other companies that manufacture PFOS and PFOA. Drastic times call for drastic measures. According to councilman Kozachik, 3M knew about the health risks that the particular compound could cause. The purpose of taking legal action was to make the companies pay for the construction of a regional water treatment plan to remove the toxic chemicals and new wells to offset the city’s capacity to produce clean edible water. Tucson medical center was the first medical institution in Arizona to sue large distributors and pharmaceutical companies in the United States of America.
These wells have not been used for quite some time, and most were failing before they were even shut down. The city water council hope that they will get a clear picture on how far the contamination has spread; this will help them determine when the problem will be solved.