State finds 4 more Private Wells Polluted

posted on:
April 10, 2005

author:
Staff

category:
Environmental

 Four private wells in Lake Elmo’s Tablyn Park area have been found to contain unsafe levels of contaminants similar to those already discovered in eight neighboring wells earlier this year, state health officials said Monday. 

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will supply residents who use the four wells with bottled drinking water, as was given other residents whose wells were tested earlier.

“It didn’t come as a surprise,” said Jim Kelly, a Minnesota Department of Health risk assessor. “We knew there would be more wells in the area that had contamination because we didn’t do an exhaustive look the first time.”

The 12 homes with unsafe levels of perfluorochemicals, or PFCs, also will receive carbon filters to reduce water contamination levels, Kelly said.

Health officials have been testing wells near the Washington County Landfill after PFCs were found in the area last fall. About 173 private wells have been sampled in Lake Elmo; those with low PFCs levels will be monitored regularly, said Mike Rafferty, a pollution control spokesman.

Lake Elmo officials also have posted a map on the municipal Web site showing where the testing has been done and what sort of chemicals were found.

PFCs were used to make heat- and stain-resistant materials, and Minnesota is one of a few states where PFCs were manufactured, state health officials said. 3M Co. phased out production of the material in 2002, they said.

Animal studies indicate high concentrations of PFCs can harm the liver and other organs.

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