UNITED STATES NEWS

Firefighting foam contaminated public water for about 9,000 in Maine

May 23, 2023, 6:32 AM | Updated: 1:00 pm

WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) — Firefighting foam used in battling a fatal fire in an apartment building entered the public water system, prompting the water district to temporarily order thousands of residents not to drink the water.

The do-not-drink order went into effect Monday for about 9,000 Kennebec Water District customers in Waterville, Winslow, Benton, Fairfield and Vassalboro, and was lifted Tuesday afternoon following testing. People were advised to flush their water lines by running taps for 3 to 5 minutes — or longer if odors or foaming was present.

The foam used by Waterville firefighters is presumed to contain PFAS chemicals, a group of compounds that are widespread, dangerous and expensive to remove from drinking water, but the foam is advertised as being free of fluorine, a toxic element sometimes used in firefighting foam, said fire Capt. Edward Moult.

“While the extent of the contamination is unclear, out of an abundance of caution, Kennebec Water District is issuing a system-wide Do Not Drink Order,” the water district announced Monday.

The foam entered the public water distribution system as firefighters battled a blaze in an apartment building for seniors. One person was killed and several others were injured Monday.

Officials didn’t say how the foam entered the public water supply. Newer buildings have a special valve to prevent firefighters’ water or foam from flowing back into the public water system, Moult said. The status of such a system on the seven-story apartment building, constructed in 1972, was unclear.

Water samples that were taken Tuesday morning were being delivered to a lab in southern Maine for analysis, and the water district consulted with state health officials before lifting the do-not-drink order.

United States News

Associated Press

What would happen without a Leap Day? More than you might think

NEW YORK (AP) — Leap year. It’s a delight for the calendar and math nerds among us. So how did it all begin and why? Have a look at some of the numbers, history and lore behind the (not quite) every-four-year phenomenon that adds a 29th day to February. BY THE NUMBERS The math is […]

60 minutes ago

FILE - Insurrections loyal to President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2...

Associated Press

Supreme Court, moving quickly, will decide if Trump can be prosecuted in election interference case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to decide whether former President Donald Trump can be prosecuted on charges he interfered with the 2020 election and set a course for a quick resolution. The justices’ order maintains a hold on preparations for a trial focused on Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss. […]

1 hour ago

FILE - Comedian Richard Lewis attends an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Dec. 25, 2012. Lewis...

Associated Press

Humorously morose comedian Richard Lewis, who recently starred on ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ dies at 76

Richard Lewis, an acclaimed comedian known for exploring his neuroses in frantic, stream-of-consciousness diatribes while dressed in all-black, leading to his nickname “The Prince of Pain,” has died.

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Reputed mobster gets four years in prison for extorting NYC labor union

NEW YORK (AP) — A Mafia member was sentenced Wednesday to more than four years in federal prison for his role in a long-running scheme in which he and others extorted funds from a New York City labor union, federal prosecutors said. Vincent Ricciardo, a captain in Colombo crime family, was also ordered to pay […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

New York lawmakers approve new congressional map that gives Democrats a slight edge

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The New York state Legislature on Wednesday approved a Democrat-drawn congressional map that gives the party a modest boost in a few battleground districts, helping their candidates in a heavily contested election year when House races in the state could determine control of Congress. Lawmakers in the Democrat-dominated statehouse approved the […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Conservationist Aldo Leopold’s last remaining child dies at 97

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The last remaining child of famed conservationist and author Aldo Leopold has died at age 97. Estella Leopold, a researcher and scientist who dedicated her life to the land ethic philosophy of her famous father, died on Sunday in Seattle after several months in hospice, the Aldo Leopold Foundation announced. “She […]

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Firefighting foam contaminated public water for about 9,000 in Maine