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Raleigh official: Falls Lake not affected by nearby well contamination

Posted September 13, 2012
Updated September 14, 2012

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— While the Environmental Protection Agency continues its investigation into well water contamination in a Wake Forest neighborhood, officials are keeping a close eye on nearby Falls Lake, which provides drinking water for Raleigh and other Wake County municipalities.

Well water at about 20 homes off Stony Hill Road have tested positive for the carcinogen TCE – a cleaning agent used for de-greasing – in the last two months, according to EPA official Kenneth Rhame.

The cancer-causing solvent is water soluble and travels underground, he said, which means it could pose a threat to other bodies of water in the area. Falls Lake is a little more than one mile from the contaminated wells.

EPA investigates source of Wake water contamination Falls Lake not affected by Wake water contamination

Kenneth Waldroup, assistant public utilities director for the City of Raleigh, said the lake is regularly tested for contamination and that there is no sign of TCE in the water.

Most the the water in Falls Lake comes from surface water flows and rainwater, so contaminated groundwater a mile away is unlikely to have an effect, Waldroup said.

26 Comments

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  • geosol Sep 14, 5:33 p.m.

    If you live 5 miles away its impossible that your well has been affected by the same contamination. But if you have a private well, its a good idea to have your well tested every now and then. I would do it every three years around here, more frequently if there's been a significant change in land use. Testing for volatile organics (solvents) is very expensive and should only be done by a trained professional as there is a significant risk of false positives. Call Wake County Environmental Services for help if you live in Wake Co.

  • didisaythat Sep 14, 4:14 p.m.

    Why should this be a wake up call for Fracking? This has absolutley nothing to do with it. I hope we start fracking in NC after the committee does the research and shows it is safe, I am all for it. If they determine it cannot be done safely, than I hope they will look into other options. Why stop something before you know if it is safe or not????I know you have an agenda.

  • freedomrings Sep 14, 4:04 p.m.

    Exceedingly frustrated. I live about 5 miles away, and am sort of down hill from this spot. Everyone in our community has a private well, sharing the same aquaphor. Calls to the state and the local EPA offices have yielded absolutely NOTHING. The phone rings and rings, no voice mail or pickup. Called the county extension and it's $75.00 and the results take at least 6 weeks after an appointment for water collection is made. None of the septic companies in this are are open on Friday and my phone call to hotline also stated they close at 3:OO p.m. today.

  • geosol Sep 14, 2:24 p.m.

    The people on public water supply systems like Aquas' are probably in the best shape in this situation. The state (yes, that awful, terrible state government) requires such public water supply wells to be tested at least annually for the types of contaminants that have been detected in Stony Hill private wells.

  • rwayneb1 Sep 14, 12:02 p.m.

    There's no mention about community water contamination. There are several Aqua wells in the immediate area that supply groundwater to the entire Aqua water system. This could effect water consumers throughout northern Wake County. The lake is too large to be impacted.

  • ConservativeVoter Sep 14, 11:47 a.m.

    Just like the EPA said there was no danger to first responders at the World Trade Center on 9/11/01.

  • Rebelyell55 Sep 14, 11:41 a.m.

    This should be considered a wake up call for anyone who support and thinks that Fracking for natural gas would be good for NC.

  • Rebelyell55 Sep 14, 11:33 a.m.

    With the large concentration they found in a few wells, it shouldn't be that hard to track down where it came from.

  • VickLo Sep 14, 10:44 a.m.

    @deduce... That was sarcasm. They removed part of my post that made that more clear. TCE is nasty stuff. I know that from working with it. Kills the kidneys.

  • Obamacare again Sep 14, 10:43 a.m.

    "People who dump chemicals either don't actually live there or are just lazy"

    People caught dumping hazardous waste should be charged with a felony considering the long lasting damage it does.

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