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State tests for contaminated vapors near Wake Forest homes

Posted October 15, 2012

Two small circuit board assembly companies who were formerly located on Stony Hill Road near Wake Forest are likely responsible for contaminating the well water at 21 nearby homes, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources said Wednesday.

— State environmental officials began testing the ground around 14 homes near Wake Forest on Monday to determine if a chemical found in local groundwater could be seeping into the air inside the homes.

The state Division of Waste Management drilled 10-foot-deep holes around the homes on Stony Hill Road, so probes could be inserted to test for underground vapors.

The homes have tested positive for dangerous levels of TCE, a cancer-causing degreasing agent, in well water.

Environmental officials say two small circuit-board assembly companies that used to sit on property in the area are likely responsible for the contamination.

"It's just aggravating," said Charles Perry, whose well has some of the highest TCE levels. "I don't even want to wash my face with it."

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are paying for water lines to be extended from three adjoining community water systems to provide clean water to the affected residents. The lines should be complete early next year.

The underground tests are expected to be done this week, although results won't be available for several weeks.

State officials said there is a good chance they won't find any dangerous vapors.

"It's low probability because the ground water is fairly deep, but out of an abundance of caution, we want to make sure there is not exposure," said John Walch, regional supervisor for clean-up sites for the Division of Waste Management. "If there is. we will address it."

Perry said all he and his neighbors can do is wait for the results.

"That's kind of scary too. I don't know, whatever the good Lord puts on us," he said.


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  • BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Oct 25, 2012

    Are these the same tests that contaminate the public schools??

  • piene2 Oct 16, 2012

    "The problem for the poor gov't is that TCE is a naturally occuring compound. We drink the stuff every day. It's in everything.

    What a laugh If these sites are not enough I can supply several thousand more concerning the damage caused by fracking. Pay particular attention to the last one indicating that Nationwide Insurance will not cover fracking damage. If they will not, none of them will.

    http://www.propublica.org/article/the-other-fracking-north-dakotas-oil-boom-brings-damage-along-with-prosperi http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/13/nationwide-insurance-fracking_n_1669775.html

  • Worland Oct 16, 2012

    The problem for the poor gov't is that TCE is a naturally occuring compound. We drink the stuff every day. It's in everything.

    I'm sure the high levels are a result of the circuit board manufacturer. Trike is a great cleaner for electronics. I used it for decades in the military. I guess maybe I should file a VA claim for having been exposed to it every day for 20+ yrs.

  • Worland Oct 16, 2012

    I guess some people don't know fracking solution is non-toxic. The main ingredients are plant based, such as sea weed extracts. You'll find the same compounds in your kid's chocolate milk and milk shakes. You can even drink the fracking solution if you so desire.

    I guess the fact that no ground water has ever been polluted by fracking solution doesn't deter the anecdotal "evidence" so many believe. Considering fracking is done several thousand feet below the water table, it's essentially impossible for the chocolate milk to enter the water table.

  • oleguy Oct 15, 2012

    Yep just wait till the fracking starts, Gonna find all kinds of stuff in the water and air

  • peterpepper Oct 15, 2012

    yeah, pretty scary thought and especially for those who are FORCED to get fracked since they don't own their mineral rights.
    They shall be innocent victims just like these poor people in Wake Forest.

  • piene2 Oct 15, 2012

    Just wait for fracking to come to North Carolina and there will be all the contaminates anyone could want.