Meetings Planned For Residents Affected By Water Contamination

Oct 13, 2015

A small portion of a map provided by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. It illustrates the plume of tetrachloroethylene that sat underneath many homes in west Wichita last year.
Credit Kansas Department of Health and Environment

A number of meetings will be held locally over the next two weeks to hear from citizens whose private drinking wells were contaminated by a dangerous chemical.

Residents living near the intersection of Tyler and Central in west Wichita were notified last year that their private drinking wells were contaminated with PCE, or tetrachloroethylene, a likely carcinogen. Officials with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment traced the contamination back to nearby dry cleaning operations, but were unable to say how long drinking wells had been affected.

Many homes in the neighborhood have since been connected to city water lines, and now two researchers want to hear from residents--specifically those who feel they may be in danger of long-term health effects.

“This is really a preliminary effort for us to get an idea, to hear from the community what their concerns are, what their needs are and to be able to connect them with the resources they need,” says Elizabeth Ablah, a doctor with the KU Medical School in Wichita.

The KU Medical School will team up with Wichita State University to hold four public meetings starting next Monday.

Ablah says a number of state and local environmental and health officials will available for questions.

Meetings will be held:

Monday, Oct. 19, 5:30 p.m., at Wilbur Middle School, 340 North Tyler Road

Tuesday, Oct. 20, 11:00 a.m., at Sedgwick County Extension, 7001 W. 21st St. North

Thursday, Oct. 29, 5:30 p.m., at Wilbur Middle School

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 7 p.m. at Sedgwick County Extension

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