Cancer cluster scare prompts Satellite Beach to test groundwater

Three wells dug Tuesday, will be sampled Wednesday

SATELLITE BEACH, Fla. – Reacting to fears of a possible cancer cluster near Patrick Air Force Base, the city of Satellite Beach is testing groundwater. 

One week after Brevard Public Schools sampled drinking water from 13 beachside schools, workers will also sample groundwater from three wells in Satellite Beach.

Wells were dug Tuesday at City Hall, on Jackson Avenue and at South Patrick Community Park.

"The sampling is being done for contaminants of concern," said environmental scientist Erin McCarta, referencing PFCs discovered in groundwater on base.

Those findings were revealed in a recent Military Times report.

Years earlier, 20 graduates from Satellite High School were diagnosed around age 30 with rare cancers and no family history.

As News 6 reported, mysterious cancer cases in the area go back to older generations.

McCarta with Tetra Tech in Cocoa Beach said in the 20 years that she's tested groundwater for chemicals, she's never had a positive test for the same chemicals found at Patrick AFB.

"Everything that I've sampled has been in the proximity or on a military base," McCarta said. "Everything that I've ever sampled for this has been undetected."

Samples will be taken from the wells Wednesday and results are expected in two weeks.

Results will be presented during a second concerned citizens meeting Aug. 5 at the Satellite Beach Civic Center.

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