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Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area, Master Station Detachment Cutler

Environmental Restoration Program Public Website


The Navy is sampling drinking water obtained from drinking water wells within a sampling area near NSA Cutler Fire Station to test for certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as PFAS.

If you have a drinking water well on a property located within the sampling area that has not been sampled, you may schedule a sampling appointment by calling
1-757-341-1410 or 1-757-341-1411 or by emailing



Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a family of thousands of different chemicals that have been widely used in industrial and consumer products since the 1950s. PFAS are man-made and have been used in many household and industrial products because of their stain- and water-repellent properties. PFAS are now present virtually everywhere in the world. Once these compounds are released, they break down very slowly.

In May 2016, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued lifetime drinking water health advisories of 70 parts per trillion (ppt), individually or combined, for two PFAS, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). Health advisories are not enforceable, and are not regulatory levels; rather, they are levels that provide Americans, including sensitive populations, with a margin of protection from a lifetime of exposure.

In June 2016 the Department of the Navy developed a proactive policy to ensure the communities near our installations are not exposed to drinking water with PFOA and/or PFOS because of a known or potential Navy release of PFAS-containing materials. The Navy’s first priority with the investigations of past releases is to ensure that concentrations of PFOA or PFOS in drinking water are not above 70 ppt as a result of a Navy PFAS release. The most common activity that could have resulted in the historical release of PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS to the environment at Navy installations is the use of firefighting foam (specifically, aqueous film-forming foam, or AFFF) for testing, training, firefighting, and other life-saving emergency responses. Because of this historical use, there is potential for PFOA, PFOS, and other PFAS to be in the groundwater on base, and therefore PFAS may be present in nearby drinking water wells that are located in the direction that the groundwater flows away from the base.

In January 2023, DoD announced the release of a new military specification for firefighting foam. Until products that meet this new military specification are available, the Navy will continue to use formulations that contain lower concentrations of PFOA and PFOS than many historical AFFF formulations, and will continue to take steps to prevent or minimize additional release of firefighting foam to the environment.

On March 14, 2023, the EPA proposed a draft regulatory drinking water standard for certain PFAS, including PFOA and PFOS. In response, DoD has issued the following statement: "DoD respects and values the public comment process on this proposed nationwide drinking water rule and looks forward to the clarity that a final regulatory drinking water standard for PFAS will provide. In anticipation of the final standard that EPA expects to publish by the end of 2023, the DoD is assessing what actions DoD can take to be prepared to incorporate EPA’s final regulatory standard into our current cleanup process, such as reviewing our existing data and conducting additional sampling where necessary. In addition, DoD will incorporate nationwide PFAS cleanup guidance, issued by EPA and applicable to all owners and operators under the federal cleanup law, as to when to provide alternate water when PFAS are present."


PFOA and PFOS have been detected in groundwater on-base at the NSA Cutler Fire Station (Figure 1) above 70 ppt. When a known or suspected release of PFAS is identified on a Navy installation and groundwater is used as drinking water, a sampling area is established 1 mile in the direction that groundwater flows away from a release area. There is no public water supply in the vicinity of the NSA Cutler Fire Station; as such, property owners and tenants within the sampling area use wells for drinking water, whether private wells or community wells owned by a non-public entity. The Navy offers sampling to all property owners and tenants whose property is within the sampling area and whose drinking water is supplied by drinking water wells.

Figure 1: Location Map of NSA Cutler Fire Station

At this time, the Navy is asking to sample drinking water wells located in the sampling area only (Figure 2).

Figure 2: NSA Cutler Designated Sampling Area


The preliminary results from the off-base drinking water well sampling near NSA Cutler Fire Station are expected approximately 30 days after collecting the samples. The Navy provides notification to the property owners and tenants of their drinking water results and any follow-up actions, if needed. The Navy will do its best to keep the testing results and property information confidential to the extent permitted by law.

The Navy will provide bottled water for drinking and cooking to any property in the sampling area with a drinking water well that contains PFOA and/or PFOS above 70 ppt and does not have an alternate drinking water source available. The Navy will continue to provide bottled water until an intermediate or permanent solution is implemented.


In September 2020, the Navy initiated the sampling of drinking water wells within the sampling area (Figure 2) near the NSA Cutler Fire Station. The Navy has continued to offer sampling to property owners and tenants whose wells have not been previously sampled. Table 1 summarizes the drinking water well sampling results to date. Each property owner was contacted upon receipt of their preliminary results to let them know if their water contains PFOA and/or PFOS above or below the 70 ppt. Bottled water delivery was provided within 24 hours of the preliminary results being received by the Navy. Final laboratory results were mailed to each property owner after all data are verified and final. Out of respect for the privacy of the property owner, individual results are provided only to each property owner.

NSA Cutler Fire Station Off-Base Drinking Water Sampling Status as of December 19, 2022
Number of Wells Sampled Number of wells with no detections of PFOA or PFOS Number of wells with detections of PFOA and/or PFOS below 70 ppt Number of wells with detections of PFOA and/or PFOS above 70 ppt
60 19 22 19

At the 19 properties where PFOA and/or PFOS were detected above 70 ppt, the Navy has installed point of entry treatment (POET) systems designed to filter PFOA and PFOS from well water to levels below 70 ppt.


The NSA Cutler Fire Station was identified in 2019 as a potential PFAS release area during the Preliminary Assessment (PA) for NSA Cutler. In spring of 2020, a Site Inspection (SI) was completed at the NSA Cutler Fire Station and the results indicated PFOA and/or PFOS were detected in shallow groundwater, confirming that the site is a PFAS release area and requiring additional investigation. In the summer of 2020, the drinking water at the fire station was sampled, and PFOA and/or PFOS were detected above 70 ppt. As a result of these detections, the off-base drinking water sampling was initiated in September 2020. In fall of 2022, the Navy initiated a Remedial Investigation (RI) for areas on and near the NSA Cutler Fire Station to determine the nature and extent of PFAS and to evaluate the potential risk of PFAS exposure to human and ecological receptors within the RI area.

NSA Cutler Fire Station Drinking Water Sampling Documents

Additional Documents


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