*This story has been updated with additional info on private well testing.

SANTA FE COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – Santa Fe County is putting hundreds of thousands of dollars into an investigation of per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS). The county says PFAS were found at the Army National Guard Santa Fe Readiness Center, but the City of Santa Fe and Santa Fe County Water Utilities are not affected.

PFAS, which are also called “forever chemicals,” are chemicals that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other environmental groups have increasingly scrutinized for their potential health risks; research on their impact on humans is still ongoing. Santa Fe County is using a $459,000 grant from the New Mexico Environment Department to investigate local contamination.

Five groundwater wells in the La Cienega and La Cieneguilla areas tested positive for PFAS contamination. Three of those wells had PFAS contamination above current EPA health advisory levels, the county says.

The main production well for the La Cienega Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association did not test positive for PFAS contamination, the county adds. The county recommends all private domestic well owners regularly test for PFAS. You can learn more about private well water testing at this link. Private well owners in Santa Fe County who want to have their wells tested for PFAS should contact the county at 505-986-6200.