Questions arise after Tyco reveals contaminated well results Tuesday

PESHTIGO, Wis. (WBAY) -- It was question after question at Tuesday night’s meeting in Peshtigo, as people demanded answers after some of their groundwater wells tested positive for contamination.

Tyco Fire Protection Products, a manufacturer of fire-fighting foam, says it is investigating the possibility that some of its compounds made it into nearby drinking water. The compounds in question are no longer used or tested at Tyco, but there may still be some leftover in the ground.

John Perkins, the executive director of Environmental Health and Safety for Tyco Fire Products, said the company was first made aware of some contamination on their own fire training center test site a few years ago.

“We originally found it in 2013. That was the first indication it was on our facility, a small portion of the facility,” said Perkins.

Perkins said that discovery prompted them to look further.

“We we found it in groundwater at our facility a few year ago and we followed up with that to look off site over the last two years,” said Perkins.

In December, people received a letter from Tyco asking for permission to test his well. Since then, many have been instructed to drink bottled water, provided by Tyco.

Over the past 90 days, crews took water samples from about 100 private wells throughout Peshtigo.

At a public meeting Tuesday night, Tyco told the public what they found in the wells.

They are still waiting for some results, but of the 82 well tests the company has gotten back, 8 of the wells contained more than the EPA recommended amount of the contaminant. Seventeen wells were below the EPA standard but still detected some contamination and 57 wells showed no signs of contamination.

Perkins said they are working with those directly impacted and are looking at installing a water treatment center in their homes, free of charge.

However, Tyco is also required to look at long-term goals, something the Wisconsin DNR will keep tabs on.

“Our role is to oversee the investigation and make sure that work is done in compliance with state codes,” said Steve Ales, Remediation and Redevelopment Program, Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR won’t be the only ones keeping a close eye on Tyco, some people of Peshtigo say they will too because they still have more questions that need to be answered.

“I think they are at a point where they really don’t know all the information, but there is enough information out there to say these are people in real trouble,” said Wendel Johnson, Peshtigo resident.

Perkins said this is just the beginning of the investigation. He said more testing and retesting will be done in the coming weeks to, “ensure we have safe drinking water provided for the community we operate in.”

If you are looking for more information about the water contamination, here are a few of the websites provided at the meeting with Tyco Tuesday night.

Bureau for Remediation and Redevelopment Tracking System (BRRTS) on the web:
http://dnr.wi.gov/botw/GetActivityDetail.do?adn=0238580694&siteld=1552500&crumb=1&search=b

Tyco Fire Products website for this matter:
http://marinette.tycofpp.com/

United States Environmental Protection Agency:
https://www.epa.gov/pfas/what-are-pfcs-and-how-do-they-relate-and-polyfluoroalkl-substances-pfass

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences:
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/pfc/index.cfm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
https://www.cdc.gov/biomonitoring/pdf/pfcs_factsheet.pdf