Wells with elevated levels of PFAS taken out of service in Madison, Wisconsin

Source: Citytakes well with elevated levels of PFAS out of service

In announcing the shutdown Monday, the Madison Water Utility repeated the assurance it has made for months — that contamination levels in Well 15 remain under a controversial federal health advisory.

The shutdown abruptly halts an expanded program of monthly water testing at the well just weeks after it began, and it means Well 15 users will get water from other wells that haven’t been thoroughly tested for the contaminant.

The water utility said it expects Well 15 will come back on line in the summer once the state announces a recommended standard for the group of toxic chemical compounds known as PFAS. The compounds are linked to an array of serious health problems in children and adults.

“Temporarily using other wells may give families who live in the Well 15 service area some peace of mind as state health officials examine the issue,” Madison Water Utility spokeswoman Amy Barrilleaux said in a statement.

State public health officials don’t plan to announce the standard for months and it’s unclear how PFAS levels detected in Well 15 will compare with that standard, which the state has not previously set. City, county and state officials didn’t respond to questions about the statement.

The water utility said it decided to shut down the well after discussing it with Mayor Paul Soglin. Soglin didn’t respond to a request for comment.