509th CES proactively treats base water

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Thomas Johns
  • 509th Bomb Wing public Affairs

Whiteman Air Force Base contractors preemptively treated water in underground tanks for Aqueous Film-Forming Foam, Sept. 2, 2020.


Aqueous Film-Forming Foam is the type of foam used by the U.S. Air Force to extinguish fires. Col. Christopher Callis, 509th Mission Support Group commander, and 509th Civil Engineer Squadron leadership attended the treatment process.


“One of the chemical components in AFFF has been found to cause harm in humans if ingested,” said Glenn Golson, 509th CES environmental element chief. “Many states are beginning to regulate the chemical. Guidance from the Air Force Civil Engineer Center advised us to test and treat our water for this chemical.”


The treatment process included filtering water through a series of pumps to remove any traces of the substance from the water in the tanks.


“Essentially, we just pump the water until it’s tested and determined to be safe or unsafe,” said Benjamin King, a contracted pump technician. “This is a cost effective way to test and remove chemical constituents from water tanks around base.”


Team Whiteman is committed to proactively ensuring environmental protection by adhering to Environmental Protection Agency standards and federal guidelines.


“I feel good about what we’re doing here,” said King. “Getting rid of these chemicals early ensures we don’t chance anything winding up in the ground water and causing environmental and health issues in the future.”