WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) — Foam used to fight a fatal fire at a Maine apartment building leaked into the public water system, prompting authorities to urge residents not to drink it.

The restriction went into effect Monday for about 9,000 Kennebec Water District customers in Waterville, Winslow, Benton, Fairfield and Vassalboro. Tests were conducted Tuesday to determine if the water was safe to drink.

The foam used by the Waterville firefighters is presumed to contain PFAS chemicals, a group of compounds that are widespread, dangerous, and expensive to remove from drinking water, but the foam is advertised as free of fluoride, another compound that is sometimes it’s used in fire-fighting foam, said Fire Capt. Edward Moult.

“While the extent of the contamination is unclear, out of an abundance of caution, the Kennebec Water District is issuing a system-wide no drink order,” the water district announced Monday.

The foam entered the public water distribution system while firefighters were fighting a fire at a senior apartment building. One person died and several others were injured on Monday.

Authorities did not say how the scum got into the public water supply. Newer buildings have a special valve to prevent water or foam from firefighters from going back into the public water system, Moult said. The status of such a system at the seven-story apartment building, built in 1972, was unclear.

The water samples that were taken Tuesday morning were sent to a laboratory in southern Maine for analysis. Officials hoped to be able to provide an update by the end of the day.

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