Local News

Water contamination alert: Warning issued for Wake County residents with private wells

Posted June 24, 2019 4:43 a.m. EDT
Updated June 25, 2019 10:03 a.m. EDT

A warning was issued Monday for 19,000 private well owners who live in eastern Wake County stating their water may be unsafe to drink after contaminants were recently found during testing.

A notice was posted online early Monday morning, and letters will be mailed out later in the day as county leaders try to get the word out about the possibly contaminated water.

The letter asks homeowners to have professionals test their water more frequently after county testers found wells with unsafe levels of uranium, radon and radium.

While all drinking water contains small levels of contaminants, increased levels of the metals can cause health risks like kidney toxicity or, with prolonged exposure, cancer. A map online can help well water customers determine if their wells are included in the warning.

To test your well water, contact a certified laboratory, according to Wake County officials.

"This is true even if your well water looks, smells and tastes normal. Well water quality may change over time, so you cannot rely on the results of old tests, either from a professional lab or off-the-shelf kit," read a notice posted with the warning.

Labratories should test for uranium, gross alpha and gross beta, and radon.

WRAL News visited a neighborhood outside of Wendell where each home has a well. One homeowner said he's concerned, but the notice does not scare him.

"I'm not moving," said Dock Jones. "It may make me want to test it more regularly, but I am staying with well water."

Well water should be tested every five years, according to the Wake County website. The answers to common questions about well water can be found online.

Experts plan to release even more information about the dangers during a press conference at 9 a.m.