EPA says piping clean water to all Wake Forest contaminated home - WNCN: News, Weather

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EPA says piping clean water to all Wake Forest contaminated homes is possible

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WAKE FOREST, N.C. -

The Environmental Protection Agency's contractor, Environmental Restoration, broke ground Thursday on construction to connect seven residents along Stony Hill Road and two residents along Bud Morris Road to nearby Aqua wells.

The EPA is paying roughly $250,000 for the construction of two pipelines that will serve nine homes. The job is expected to take about three weeks.

However, the two lines currently under construction, called Phase 1 and Phase 2, do not include nearly a dozen homes with contaminated water in and around the Stonewall development.

"It is frustrating. I know the EPA is doing the best they can with the current funds," said homeowner Mark Stonefield.

Two months ago, water tests on Stonefield's private well determined his water had dangerous levels of TCE, a cancer causing carcinogen.

The EPA provided the Stonefield residence with filters to clean the water. Stonefield said he is thankful for the help, but the filters are not a permanent solution.

"I know I have clean water, but to keep the value of my house long term I want community water."

Neighbor Michele Hamilton echoed Stonefield's concern.

"We feel totally left out. They are going to bring this water up Stony Hill to help residents and bringing water up Bud Morris to help those residents. And then there is our neighborhood right in the middle that is not getting either," said Hamilton.

The EPA defines dangerous levels of TCE contamination as five parts per billion. Hamilton's water has TCE contamination of four parts per billion. As a result, the EPA has not provided Hamilton with water filters or bottled water.

"We are not getting people knocking on our door with free bottled water to help our family. We have to take the initiative to go out and get our own estimates and put our own filter in," said Hamilton.

Aqua North Carolina President Tom Roberts said capacity is a concern.

We have a responsibility to our existing customers and we have a responsibility to the future customers. We want to make sure we have the capacity to serve both before we commit to serving any future customers.

"Aqua has been running the numbers all day," EPA spokesman Ken Rhame told NBC-17 by phone Thursday.

Rhame said Aqua staff determined late Thursday that the company's community wells have capacity to meet the needs and supply water to all of the homes where TCE has been detected.

Other options are still being considered and there is not yet a "firm plan," said Rhame.

"This is still only a developing plan and there are a lot of discussions that I will be having in the next few days with residents and with Aqua," said Rhame.

Over the past two months, the EPA has determined 21 wells in the Stony Hill Road area tested positive for TCE.

 

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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