Wake Forest wells test postive for toxic chemical

September 17, 2012 3:21:46 PM PDT
Some Wake County residents are seeking answers after tainted water is showing up in their wells.

A cancer-causing carcinogen has been found at dangerous levels at homes just off Stony Hill Road in Wake Forest.

The EPA tested the water in about 100 wells in the community. So far, 21 have tested positive for the carcinogen TCE and 12 wells have levels about what the EPA considered acceptable.

One homeowner found out in July that his water was contaminated. Results show the toxicity levels in Rich Fix's water were elevated, and the government told him not to drink it.

"A guy showed up and actually brought us bottles of water, cases of bottles of water.  It was that critical that they felt we should stop drinking the water," Fix said.

He said officials also told him not to shower, and if he does he should dry off in a separate room because of the vapors.

Fix's water showed levels at five parts per billion, and his neighbor's well has 340 parts per billion.

For the concerned residents, the EPA held an informational session Monday to answer questions. One question Fix had was why he was not told about the carcinogen levels until now.

"Probably the thing that's most disappointing is that they had discovered this contamination in 2005, prior to the time this house was built," Fox said.

Fix moved into his brand new home in the Stonewalls neighborhood in 2006. A year before he moved in a well near his house tested positive for TCE, but the state said it was only one well at the time.

"The well itself had been permitted, by the state through Wake County as had been the house," Fix said.

Ken Rhame heads up the EPA's response team and he said there are plans to pipe in community well water to at least some of the affected homes. However, Fix's home isn't on the list.

Fix said the value of his home has all but evaporated, but his health has him most worried.

"It goes through your mind every day.  Am I taking one too many showers, did I drink too much water over the last 6 years? You just don't know," Fix said.

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