Potentially cancer-causing chemicals detected in Cocoa Beach's reclaimed water

COCOA BEACH, Fla. — During a Cocoa Beach City Council meeting Thursday night, officials called for more testing after potentially cancer-causing chemicals were found in the city's reclaimed water supply.

Similar results were announced Wednesday in Satellite Beach.

The chemicals are associated with fire extinguishing foams and some household products.

"I don't think there are problems with drinking water. I think that needs to be out there," city manager Jim McKnight said. "The concern is we use reclaimed water. Reclaimed water is usually used for irrigation only."

But cancer survivor Stel Bailey said she thinks the water is to blame for her health problems, which began in 2013.

"My brother was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in March," she said. "Three months later, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. And then later, my dad was diagnosed with multiple myeloma."

The city said it tested water at the north end of Patrick Air Force Base, the city's wastewater plant and two wells at the Cocoa Beach Country Club.

"Our numbers ranged -- combined -- from a low of over ... 100 parts per trillion up to 430 -- I think was our highest, and that was actually at Patrick Air Force Base before it entered our system," McKnight said.

As a benchmark, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has established a health advisory for drinking water at 70 parts per trillion.

Bailey said she is concerned even though the chemicals haven't been found in drinking water.

"It makes it scary, because our children play in yards, we have sprinklers, our children are in swimming pools," she said.

The city said it plans to do further testing in about two weeks.

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