No solution for contaminated wells in Bucks Co.

January 14, 2011 3:34:58 PM PST
People who live in the western end of Northampton Township, Bucks County know what's in the water.

But, they still don't know what to do about it.

"We bathe in the water, we cook with the water. Now, I'm at the point where I don't want to cook with the water so I have to buy water because I'm hearing all these stories," said Patty Yaeger.

Those stories revolve around the discovery of trichloroethylene, or TCE, in the well water. TCE is a potential carcinogen used as a metal cleaning solvent.

State officials believe the TCE leached into the ground water from a nearby industrial complex. However, the complex has been around for decades and DEP officials say tracing the substance back to one facility over the past thirty years would be all but impossible.

State Representative Scott Petri says right now, the DEP is focused on determining just how many homes are affected.

"They'll be retesting as the water table changes in March and rises. They want to check their numbers and see if there are any more contaminated wells," Petri said.

Naomi Dolan of North Traymore Avenue started receiving complimentary cases of bottles water after the contamination was detected.

Still, she uses the tap water for a lot of other things, including her house humidifier.

"They're telling us not to be concerned about the humidifiers, but at the same time we're breathing it. So, we're being as careful as we can," said Dolan.

No long-term solution has been agreed upon, so homeowners with contaminated water will receive shipments of bottled water courtesy of the DEP.

The DEP will also install full-house carbon filtration systems in those homes.

A public hearing on the matter is expected to be held in March, though not date has been set.