Cancer-Causing Chemical Found in Sandston Water

SANDSTON (WRIC) – The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality went door to door Wednesday passing out flyers warning that the chemical tetrachloroethylene, also known as “perc”  is in the ground water.

But they don't know how it got there, how long it's been there, nor how many people it may have affected.

On Federal Street in Sandston, tap water and bottled water are the standard.

“We don't really have well water around here,” says Stephen Hyesell.

And that's good because the well-water may have something in it that causes cancer.

Bill Hayden says the Department of Environmental Quality and the EPA knows it's in the ground water in this part of Sandston, but they don't know why nor how much is there.

“This particular chemical can come from dry cleaning activities,” Hayden says. “It's a de-greaser. It's a solvent. So we need to look into all those sorts of things but at this point we just don't have that information.

While the EPA tries to figure that out, the Department of Environmental Quality wants to make sure nobody drinks the ground water.

That should keep the folks in this area from the risk perc poses.

“If there's something in it, they'll take care of it,” says Dennis Sullivan. “If not, someone might get sick.”

Stephen Hyesell's neighbor Dennis Sullivan wonders why he's just finding out about it.

The Department of Environmental Quality got the initial report from a contractor in august.

“[I'm] a little concerned about it,” Sullivan says. “They should have notified us earlier and let us know what's going on.”

But neither Hyesell nor Sullivan is too worried because the DEQ says what's coming out of the tap is just fine.

“[I] don't want to have a nasty environment, but it's not affecting my drinking water so that's kind of the important part,” Hyesell says.

After testing the ground water, the EPA plans to collect air samples from places like crawl spaces in case any of the perc has become vapor, which could then be inhaled and could also cause a risk.

Right now, there's no timeline for how long this will all take.


Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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