The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is studying two areas in west Wichita where the groundwater is thought to be contaminated with the synthetic chemical tetrachloroethylene, or PCE. The agency is holding two public information sessions on the issue next week.
At the meetings, KDHE will provide information on the impacts of domestic wells contaminated with PCE, a chemical used in dry cleaning and metal-degreasing operations. Those impacts include a wide range of health problems, including liver damage and cancer in humans and animals. The agency will also present plans to provide short- and long-term alternative drinking water supplies to affected areas and long term remediation needs.
The first meeting will focus on the impact of potential contamination from a former Coastal Mart near the intersection of Central and Maize. The second meeting will include discussion about possible contamination from a former dry cleaners close to Maple and Maize.
The meetings are scheduled for 6:00 and 6:30 p.m. next Tuesday, Sept. 13, at the Tyler Road Southern Baptist Church located at 571 South Tyler Road in Wichita.
Residents in or near the areas of concern are encouraged to attend.
In 2014, the KDHE determined that a plume of PCE extending for nearly two miles had contaminated private wells at homes in west Wichita. The same chemical may have contaminated an area between Maple and Kellogg. Another area to the north has a separate problem linked to petroleum production from an underground storage tank.
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