Department of Natural Resources finds high levels of PFAS in foam at Olbrich Boat Launch

Department of Natural Resources finds high levels of PFAS in foam at Olbrich Boat Launch
Copyright 2019 by Channel 3000. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

High concentrations of PFAS were found in foam samples taken from Lake Monona at Olbrich Boat Launch in October, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

PFAS is a combination of man-made chemicals that harm the environment and could cause serious medical issues if consumed.

“It can accumulate in the environment in very high levels, so it can get into the surface water and groundwater, which communities can then use as their drinking water sources,” Darsi Foss, an administrator for the DNR’s Division of Environmental Management, said.

The DNR is working with city and state officials to find the source of the pollutant.

“This is going to take a little bit of work,” Foss said. “Unfortunately, once it gets released into the environment, it is very difficult to down and capture it.”

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said the city of Madison is taking this issue seriously.

“I’ve asked city parks division staff to increase monitoring of the boat launch and to report any cases of foam they identify to the DNR,” Rhode-Conway said in a statement.

The @CityofMadison and @WDNR are warning of PFAS in the water near Olbrich Park boat launch. It’s recommended to NOT ingest the water. This includes pets. #News3Now

— Gabriella Bachara (@GabbyBachara) December 19, 2019

PFAS appears as a bright white foam, according to the DNR. It is recommenced you not touch it and keep animals away.

Get your weather forecast from people who actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.