Area-wide drinking water advisory issued for French Island after possible PFAS contamination

An interim, area-wide drinking water advisory has been issued for residents of French Island, Wisconsin over concerns of Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) contamination.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Department of Health Services (DHS), Wisconsin Air National Guard (WANG), and Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) are working to provide bottled water to residents with private wells that are impacted or suspected to be impacted by PFAS contamination, the DNR said.

The city of La Crosse is also conducting a site investigation regarding PFAS contamination found in municipal wells on French Island. The city said it has identified PFAS contamination in the soil and groundwater on the airport property and areas south of the ariport due to firefighting foam. The city said the foam was likely used in training, testing and response to airplane crashes.

Officials plan to host an information session online at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

The state is also making bottled water available to those affected by the contamination by allowing for pick-up of cases of bottled water from 3-6 p.m. Thursday at Olivet Lutheran Church and Days Inn.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says PFAS exposure can lead to adverse health outcomes for people.