Wake Forest water wells being tested for dangerous chemical - WNCN: News, Weather

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Wake Forest water wells being tested for dangerous chemical

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WAKE FOREST, N.C. -

Tainted water is showing up in Wake Forest, where a dangerous chemical may have gotten into wells.

In fact, there are so many concerns, the EPA plans to open a special office on Monday morning.

Concerned neighbors plan to meet next Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Stony Hill Fire Station in Wake Forest. EPA On-Scene Coordinator Kenneth Rhame says he will be there to answer questions.

People are worried after the well water of 12 homes showed high levels of a toxic solvent called Trichloroethylene, which is used to clean metal.

The solvent can cause cancer, coma, and even death.

"Some gentlemen from the EPA came to the door and asked if they could test our water," explained Monica Stonefield, who has lived in an area near Stony Hill Road for four years.

From that test, the Stonefield family found out the dangerous chemical was in their water.

"The next day after testing, they came back with bottled water and said don't drink the water, and don't shower," her husband, Mark Stonefield, said. 

For a month, they drank and cooked with bottled water and went to a health club to shower, until the EPA came back to their home and put in a $3,000 filter.

"They actually installed these two carbon filtration systems, they have granules of carbon that the TCE adheres to," Mark Stonefield pointed. There are two large metal canisters, and two more filters.

The EPA picked up the cost.

The Stonefields think the TCE was in the water years before they built their home and well, and moved in 2008.

They say they've since learned another Wake Forest family reported it to Wake County and the state in 2005.

"A homeowner in the area has had a petroleum smell in their water," Mark Stonefield said.

The state confirms there was a positive test for TCE in 2005, but only believed it affected one well at the time.

The state's pursuing legal action against someone it says is responsible for the leak. It sent letters to eight homeowners in June asking to allow retests, and only one allowed a test. That well tested positive.

Now, the Stonefields say they're worried about the future for their neighbors and their own two children.

"It will cause probably heartache every time any medical issues come up," Mark Stonefield said. "Thinking back, was it caused by the exposure, was it not?"

The EPA is renting space from Stony Hill Baptist Church and will open to concerned people Monday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. to answer questions and release more test results as they become available.

So far about 90 homes have been tested and more might be on the way.

 

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