DNREC, EPA update Delaware residents on water contamination

DNREC, EPA update Delaware residents on water contamination.
“We want to ensure everyone has safe drinking water, we want to ensure that people that are provided water from Artesian [water company] or have private drinking water wells, have safe drinking waters that do not pose a health hazard to them,” said Tim Ratsep, program administrator for DNREC’s site investigation and restoration section.
“We have to do the evaluation, we have to find out where the sources are, we have to get the sources out of there so concentrations don’t increase, and where it has increased to address them so they go in the opposite direction.” Back in 2005, Artesian Water Company, which provides and treats public drinking water, found small levels of contamination in its Hockessin water well during routine sampling.
DNREC then began to evaluate the impacts of the contamination, as well as potential sources of the contamination.
Prolonged exposure to the contaminant can cause adverse human health effects, including neurological disorders and cancer.
“All the Artesian wells have carbon treatment on them, and they meet federal and state safe drinking water standards, and the routine sampling occurs on a regular basis,” Ratsep said.
There were three locations we did find had low level impact material from the facilities and the state put treatment systems on those, so those wells are safe to drink also.” DNREC focused much of its investigation on evaluating dry cleaners in the area, and believe Hockessin Cleaners and Sunrise Cleaners are the main sources of the PCE contamination.
Ratsep said prior to regulations, cleaning materials containing compounds often were dumped outside, contaminating the soil and in turn, the water.
The EPA also updated the public on its investigation of the Hockessin Ground Water Plume Site, which it began last year.
If the site is put on the NPL, there will be several weeks of public information and comment sessions.

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