More Town of Campbell wells have tested positive for a dangerous chemical called PFAS

The wells are outside of the original and expanded testing areas and some are in public buildings. 

TOWN OF CAMPBELL, Wis. (WKBT)- More Town of Campbell wells have tested positive for a dangerous chemical called PFAS.  The wells are outside of the original and expanded testing areas and some are in public buildings. 

Town board members hope by putting pen to paper, they can help homeowners scared their wells are contaminated.  The man-made compounds were used to produce the fire-fighting foam sprayed at the La Crosse Airport for decades.  This fall, the City of La Crosse learned PFAS in the ground at the airport spread, according to the city’s own tests, to more than 100 private wells.  The PFAS levels in nearly half of the homes are so high, The Department of Health Services recommends against homeowners using the water to drink, brush your teeth, or cook with. Doctor Curtis Hedman, a toxicologist with DHS says some of the risk of drinking the contaminated water include “increase cholesterol, decrease in some antibody response, a decrease in fertility in women and an increase is some types of cancer, and increased risk of thyroid diseases.” 

The City of La Crosse is only testing wells in the areas it believes the chemical spread. In December, The town asked the city to test the entire island. The city said no. Since then, homeowners outside the city’s testing area have paid, up to 425 dollars out of pocket, for their own test.  At least one, according to the town board, exceeded the DNR and Department of Health Services’ proposed enforcement standard of 20ppt. “With any concentrations that are over 20, the recommendation is made to seek an alternative water source.”, explains DNR Field Operations Director Trevor Nobile.

The Town also tested three of its wells in public buildings located outside the city’s testing area. The town hall, community center, and library wells all tested positive for PFAS.   The level in the library was 26.1ppt; above the proposed enforcement standard. “We do recommend people use an alternate source of drinking water; whether that’s through bottled water or a treatment device.”, says Hedman.

After receiving its results, the town board voted to ask the city to expand it testing area again.  News 8 Now asked La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat if the city is willing to expand it’s testing area. Kabat has not yet replied to our email.

The Town is planning to hold a community meeting with a law firm. Board members haven’t yet set a date. 

If you are concerned about your private well, you can contact: Curtis Hedman at the Department of Health Services: Phone: 608-266-6677Cell: 608-287-4152 Curtis.Hedman@dhs.wisconsin.gov