Community discusses Airway Heights water crisis


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(PHOTO AND STORY: KHQ.COM)

The Airway Heights water crisis continues, with hundreds of families still forced to use bottled water instead of what's coming out of their taps. But on Tuesday the community is getting more answers about what's going on thanks to a public meeting held by Fairchild Air Force Base.

More than anything folks were concerned about what the Air Force was doing about the contaminated water and the possible health effects it could have on them.

People living around and near Fairchild Air Force base packed the gym at Medical Lake High School wanting answers.  The base held a town hall meeting bringing in experts with the Air Force, EPA and the health department. 

They were taking on questions about the Airway Heights water supply, which was likely contaminated by a chemical found in a firefighting foam they used for decades, and just stopped using it last year. 

For the last 8 days they've been advising people living in the affected area to stop drinking tap water and passing out bottled water. 

For generations, Julie Dibble's family has lived in Medical Lake next to Fairchild.  she was at Tuesday's meeting wanting answers and a solid plan from the base about what they're going to do about the contaminated water. She's worried about what effects it may have on her kids and grandkids.

"We've been there since the '60s. We're contaminated, we've been contaminated, so not much you can do for us. But it could have been prevented for the pregnant mothers, passing that to the babies," Dibble said. "The other children that we have could have had less exposure to it, at least if we were given a heads up. I think that's what we're most frustrated with."

Fairchild says they are continuing to test wells around the base and are wanting anyone who may think their's could be contaminated to contact them. 

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