Kansas Residents Drank Contaminated Water For Six Years While State Sat On Damning Chemical Tests
The following is an excerpt from rt.com | August 27, 2018 |
The state of Kansas failed to act on tests showing that groundwater in a Wichita suburb had been contaminated, allowing hundreds of residents to use tainted water wells for more than six years, before taking action.
The state discovered chemicals in the groundwater on a property that formerly housed a dry-cleaning service in Haysville, outside of Wichita, in 2011. But the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) waited six years before investigating the troubling findings, an in-depth report published by The Wichita Eagle has revealed.
Incredibly, the department did not even bother to test nearby private wells or inform locals that their water could be contaminated. The chemical found in the groundwater, tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene or PCE, can have adverse effects on the kidney, liver and immune system, with long-term exposure known to cause changes in mood, memory, attention and vision. The chemical, which is used in dry cleaning, has also been linked to several types of cancer. The chemicals are believed to have been runoff from the former dry-cleaning business.
It wasn’t until 2017 that the KDHE put two-and-two together and realized that the contaminated groundwater had seeped into nearby private wells. The state claims that the tainted water had been given a low priority because they believed it was flowing away from residential areas. But by then, the damage had already been done.
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