Contaminated water expands to more Wake homes

October 31, 2012 12:48:12 PM PDT
A cancer causing chemical that was found in well water in two Wake County neighborhoods, has now shown up in the groundwater of several new homes on Mangrum Hallows Drive in Wake Forest.

Residents said in the last few days, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has tested all 21 homes in the community and said that some of the homes that tested positive for TCE are still under construction.

The chemical is a man-made degreaser called Trichloroethylene or TCE.

According to the EPA, people who drink water contaminated with TCE in excess could develop liver problems and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.

Last week, several agencies, including the EPA, and officials with the state health department, explained when the contamination was found in water wells serving homes just off Stony Hill Road in Wake Forest and how they are handling that situation.

Authorities said the carcinogen found in drinking water came from a now defunct plant. The EPA said TCE was used to clean machine parts, but no one knows how it got into the well water.

In 2005, Wake County officials said groundwater in one well tested positive with TCE after a homeowner complained the water smelled funny, however other nearby wells tested fine. Seven years later not far from the original testing site, another well tested positive with the

Officials are still talking to the three plants that used to be in the area where the contamination was found.

"Within that area and any other area that's contaminated, sampling is part of the approval process, so it will have to be and areas where there is no risk known to us," one official said. "The county doesn't automatically require property owners and builders to test for possible organics. They may do that but it's not a county requirement."

Authorities have put residents in contact with physicians and said they are looking into if the area could become a Superfund Site, which is an EPA program to clean up areas contaminated with hazardous materials.

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