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Bull Swamp, Charleston Water System and Berkeley County Water and Sanitation testing results

010322 | March 15, 2022


The results of the Bull Swamp, Charleston Water System and Berkeley County Water and Sanitation’s testing of the base’s drinking water supply for levels of perfluorooctanesulfonic (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic (PFOA) acids are below the EPA’s lifetime health advisory threshold of 70 parts per trillion (ppt).

JBC monitors 3 water systems to include Bull Swamp, Charleston Water System, and Berkeley County Water and Sanitation. The October 2020 results for Bull Swamp were non-detectable for both PFOS and PFOA (less than 2 ppt). The September 2020 results for Charleston Water System for PFOS were 5.5 ppt and for PFOA were 2.7 ppt. The September 2021 results for Berkeley County Water and Sanitation for PFOS were 5.6 ppt and for PFOA were 4.7 ppt.

PFOS and PFOA are compounds used in a wide array of commercial and industrial applications including food wrappers, stain-resistant fabric, and in firefighting foam used by military and civilian aviation. The Air Force began using Aqueous Film Forming Foam in the 1970s to combat petroleum-based fires, such as those of burning aircraft.

In 2015, the Air Force launched a comprehensive approach to identify, respond to, and prevent drinking water impacts from PFOS/PFOA that might be associated with Joint Base Charleston’s firefighting mission.  Joint Base Charleston is one of 203 installations where the AF Civil Engineer Center is conducting its investigation, following the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act process.

The Air Force replaced of PFOS-based AFFF and other legacy products with a formula that meets EPA guidelines in 2017.  Additionally, the Air Force changed its emergency training and response procedures to reduce the risk of contamination from mission activities.

For more information on the Air Force response or additional information on the Air Force’s response to PFOS and PFOA please visit or contact Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Public Affairs at 1-866-725-7617 or email

  • Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs
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