Local News

Well-Water May Be Hazardous In One Vance Neighborhood

Posted April 13, 1999

— One out of every three people in North Carolina depends on private wells for their water. But what can people do if their well-water is contaminated?

The state is checking the water quality in Vance County because there is a fear in one neighborhood that the well-water is hazardous to residents' health.

For the past year and a half, Sylvia Allyn has had to abandon her well and use bottled water for everything she does.

"Everything. To wash dishes, to take a bath, to drink, to cook, everything," said Allyn.

Allyn's well-water and the well-water of at least one other neighbor has fumes so bad that even with just a whiff, the state knows there is a problem.

"There is definitely a detectable odor. I can smell something that doesn't smell right. I don't want to breath too much of it," said one state worker.

There is also testing done by Vance County that has shown a detectable level of known carcinogens including petroleum compounds.

Allyn does live next to a Henderson landfill that closed in the 1970s. It could be the source, and that is what the state is trying to figure out.

"It could be the landfill. It could be a gas station. It could be a spill that happened sometime in the past that we are not aware of," said hydrogeologist Tyler Clark.

Allyn just wants some answers because depending on bottled water for all of her needs is getting old, fast.

"This is becoming an environmental problem. Okay, lets find the problem, let's fix it, and let's get it straight," said Allyn.

Allyn gets all of her bottled water for free from the state from an underground storage tank fund.

But, Allyn may loose all the value in her home because of the land it sits on. She says that if she finds out who did this to the water, she may try to get some compensation from them.

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