Air Force agrees to pay Airway Heights for purchased water

AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. Air Force has agreed to reimburse the city of Airway Heights for water it’s purchasing from the city of Spokane.

That’s after the revelation that firefighting operations at Fairchild Air Force Base have contaminated the town’s drinking water system.

The Spokesman-Review says the Air Force will pay Airway Heights for up to 440 million gallons of clean tap water with a potential cost of $687,000 during the next year.

Military bases across the country are trying to quantify the environmental and physical health effects of chemical compounds known as PFOA and PFOS, which were key ingredients in a foam used to douse ship and aircraft fires.

In Airway Heights, chemical runoff from Fairchild has contaminated dozens of wells, including several that supplied the city’s tap water.