COUPEVILLE, Wash. -- In the front of Coupeville High School's cafeteria, Mark and Kristi Korzan hoped to get some answers.
Their home is right next to the Naval Outlying Field, or OLF, a small airstrip outside of town used for training. A few months ago, the family was told its water was contaminated.
"Our well water was really clean and tasted good," said Mark Korzan, "But apparently, it's not."
The Korzans were in a large crowd at Coupeville High for a community meeting on the contamination, which became public late last year.
In a test of 150 wells around the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and the OLF, eight wells tested with higher than recommended levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFASs. Seven of those wells are around the OLF.
The Environmental Protection Agency has encouraged widespread testing for the material, which can be found in a variety of household items.
According to Island County officials, in this case, it may come from firefighting foam material used since the late 1970s called AFFF.
"It's unclear how long this has been going on," said Doug Kelly with Island County Environmental Health.
Kelly described the contaminant as non-biodegradable. Because PFASs are unregulated, the Navy has "no regulation...to do anything here," he said.
A Naval Air Station Whidbey Island spokesperson said there is no record of AFFF being used at the OLF, and the Navy is testing to "see if our contaminants caused this."
In addition to providing bottled water to the eight most impacted homes, the Navy is testing to get a grasp on the contamination and its source. It is holding a public meeting as well next week.
Many homeowners are frustrated by the response from the county and the Navy and believe their testing program is flawed and misleading.
"Our wells, our aquifer," said Maryon Attwood, whose water tested below the EPA levels, "There's no question that was done by the Navy. That didn't come from Teflon pans."