EPA explains what Wake Forest homes will be tested for toxic che - WNCN: News, Weather

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EPA explains what Wake Forest homes will be tested for toxic chemicals

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WAKE FOREST, N.C. -

Some Wake Forest residents want to know why their wells have not been tested for a toxic chemical.

State and federal environmental staff says there's a toxic plume of TCE traveling into well water in the Stony Hill Road area and they are working to determine who is at fault for the leak. At that point, the agency will order the responsible party to clean up the mess.

Although the EPA has tested 97 homes, some other well owners will have to pay for it themselves.

"We have to pay to have our well tested, that's not right if they're supposed to be monitoring it. It's moving in that direction they need to test down that road," Rhonda Morgan said Wednesday.

The Environmental Protection Agency says tests on 97 water wells in Wake Forest showed that 21 wells had signs of trichloroethylene, also called TCE. Of those 21 wells, 12 were above safety standard, and those homeowners were provided with bottled water. Some of them were provided with water filters.

EPA spokesman Ken Rhame said whether the EPA will test a home in the area depends on its location.

Rhame said homes within a half-mile radius from the contamination are considered within the "area of concern."

The EPA is willing to test homes within a three-quarter-mile radius from the contamination.

"We don't have any reason to believe that the plume has migrated outside the three-quarter-mile radius. We don't think people should be concerned outside our area of concern," Rhame said.

Residents outside the three-quarter-mile radius will have to pay to have their well tested.

To have your well tested you can contact Wake County Environmental Services or a private sector company.

A spokesperson at Wake County Environmental Services said it is likely that a private sector company will be able to provide faster turnaround because the county has to send samples to the state lab.

If you hire a private company to test your well water, experts say it is important to make sure they test for volatile organic compounds aka VOC. 

In November and December, the EPA will re-test homes already tested to determine how far the plume has moved. It is estimated that the contamination is moving from the southeast to the northwest at 100 yards per year.

The EPA has set up a temporary emergency information center in Wake Forest through Friday. It is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the intersection of Bud Morris Drive and Stony Hill Road, at the church community center.

 

 

Charlotte Huffman

An award-winning journalist with an investigative edge, Charlotte has driven legislative change with reports on workplace safety concerns and contaminated groundwater. Contact our Investigative Team anytime HERE. More>>

Poison in the Water

There are at least 2,000 sites statewide where DENR knows there is TCE contamination that is likely spreading into the water of unsuspecting families. More>>

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