TCE Spoils North Carolina Water Wells

Homeowners in Wake Forest, N.C., have discovered that some of their water wells are contaminated with trichloroethylene, or TCE. As tests continue, other homeowners wait to hear if their wells have the same fate.

One resident has been told to get in and out of the shower very quickly and to drink bottled water, according to this report. The contamination source is believed to be a circuit board assembly company that was located on S. Stony Hill Road. So far, 21 water wells have been confirmed as being polluted with the chemical. Even though some homes have been recently built, one resident claims her property value is “basically zero.”

Traces of the chemical were first discovered in 2005 and this year the Environmental Protection Agency got involved. Investigative processes right now include continuing to test wells and locating the boundaries of the contaminated plume of groundwater. TCE has been linked to cancer, and besides being dangerous to ingest, it can also be dangerous to inhale its vapors. The vapors rise and enter living spaces through cracks and openings in foundations when there are high concentrations of the chemical in the soil.