Environmental
5:34 am
Tue May 13, 2014

New Tests Show Mixed Results For Small Town Dealing With Toxic Water

Credit EPA

Federal officials say residents in a small northern Illinois town affected by contaminated groundwater are safe from the problem. But for how long?

Federal officials say they've done another round of testing on the eight replacement wells in the unincorporated town of Wedron, which is in northern LaSalle County. Those wells were installed after the original ones tested positive for elevated levels of benzene.

In a news release, the EPA says water from the new wells is safe to drink. But it says a private well near the site that didn't test positive more than a-year-ago now has traces of benzene it it, raising questions about the spread of the contamination. Repeated attempts were made to the EPA for comment, but officials were unavailable to discuss the latest results.

However, in its news release, the agency says the detection does not exceed its safe drinking water standards. It also says it will work with local health officials over the next couple of years to keep testing wells in case immediate action is needed.

All of this coincides with an investigation set forth by the EPA. Local residents have also filed a lawsuit against companies suspected of being the source of the contamination.

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