Community Shocked by Years of Contamination Findings

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Toxic chemicals in the Wake Forest, North Carolina water, dating back to 2005, has shocked the community, who were largely unaware of the contamination.

The community is in an uproar after discovering that trichlorethylene, or TCE, had been on the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources radar since 2005, and the residents of the community did not recall a single phone call of warning.

Ten years ago TCE was used to clean circuit boards in a shed on Stony Hill Road, Wake Forest and had exited the building through a pipe that poured straight onto the ground. It was three years later, that the chemical showed up in a well at the house next door.

According to a recent online article, “N.C. Neighbors Aghast to Learn Drinking Water Contaminated for Years,” Charlotte Jesneck’s division at the DENR took the case and when it looked like the contamination was confined to the well, they moved on.

“There were higher risk sites on the radar at the time,” Jesneck told reporters, “We have finite number of resources.”

The community was first notified of the contamination this past June when the citizens received a letter from the DENR asking if they would like to have their wells sampled.

After sampling 100 wells, there were traces of TCE in 21 of them, spreading over 500 acres.

The article responds to Jesneck’s comments of having finite number of resources, by disclosing NBC-17 doesn’t charge a fee to call residents and alert them of potential contamination in the area.

The Environmental Protection Agency has since stepped into the community to set up emergency command posts and placed safe water on the Wake Forrest residents door steps regularly and installed water filters.

The EPA held meetings to explain what the residents had been drinking and that TCE has been linked to leukemia, lung and breast cancer.

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