Experts testing for cancer-causing chemicals in drinking water at several schools

Experts are testing for cancer-causing chemicals in drinking water at several schools.

Workers hired to collect samples of the drinking water focused on four schools in Satellite Beach on Wednesday. Those schools included Sea Park, Holland Elementary Schools, Delaura Junior High, and Satellite Beach High School.

The School District says that they are paying $10,000 to test the water at a dozen beachside schools. High levels of hazardous perfluorinated chemicals, contained in firefighting foam used by Patrick Air Force Base, were detected in groundwater on base. Right next door, the health department is also collecting data about a possible cancer cluster in Satellite Beach among more than 20 high school alumni under the age of 40.

Environmental engineer Megan Dearrigoitia says that preflourinated chemicals were once used in stain, grease, and water repelling products. The EPA says that drinking water is considered hazardous if it has more than 70 parts per trillion, which is equal to one drop in an Olympic swimming pool.

On Wednesday, the Air Force released a statement dismissing any environmental impact from their water, saying that "Groundwater is not used for drinking water at Patrick Air Force Base or our neighboring communities. We receive our drinking water from the City of Cocoa and the City of Melbourne."

The school district says the results from the test should be ready in about three weeks, just before the start of the school year.