A sign posted by town officials to warn people not to drink nearby polluted spring water is pictured in Kadena, Okinawa, Friday, May 10, 2019. (CARLOS VAZQUEZ/STARS AND STRIPES)
A sign posted by town officials to warn people not to drink nearby polluted spring water is pictured in Kadena, Okinawa, Friday, May 10, 2019. (CARLOS VAZQUEZ/STARS AND STRIPES)

Okinawa residents warned about pollutants in spring water outside Kadena Air Base

by Matthew M. Burke and Aya Ichihashi
Stars and Stripes

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Residents of a town near Kadena Air Base are being told to stay away from untreated spring water after high levels of a banned pollutant were detected last year.

High concentrations of perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, or PFOS, and perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, were found during two underground-water surveys in June and July, according to an assessment released April 26 by the Okinawa Prefectural Enterprise Bureau, administrators of the island’s water supply and quality.

“We talked to the neighborhood assemblies to tell their district people not to drink the water in these areas,” a Kadena town spokesman told Stars and Stripes Tuesday. “In these spots, there are animals, like small fish, and local kids play in the water. We have asked the prefectural government to do further research to determine where these chemicals are coming from as well as study the effect on crops as there is a farming area nearby.”

Read more at: https://www.stripes.com/1.580430

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