| Material Information
||Chemicals in Private Well Water Found Locally, Too
||North America -- United States of America -- Florida
||Tampa Tribune Article
October 12, 1986
The chemical, called PCE, is suspected of causing cancer in humans.
||Box 7, Folder 2 ( Vail Conference 1987 - 1987 ), Item 65
||Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
Chemicals in private well water
Chemicals in private well water
The chemical, called
PCE, is suspected of
causing cancer in
By KIM KLEMAN
Tribune Staff Writer
Who thinks about the water they
James Partain commonly guzzled
more than a gallon each day from his
family's well on 64th Street. Across the
street, Elmer Singley and his wife paid
no mind to their well.
These days, however, "That's about
all we talk about around here is this
water," said neighbor Jonnie Howe.
Over the past two weeks, these pri-
vate wells and others on the block were
discovered to be polluted with a toxic
It is the same solvent found recently
in Pensacola's public wells. Called per-
chloroethylene, or PCE, it is suspected of
causing cancer in humans based on labo-
ratory tests with animals.
The discovery has raised questions
for these residents, who assumed, as
everyone does, that their drinking water
"What we want to know is how long
have we been drinking this stuff?" Sing-
ley asks. "How long have we been drink-
ing It and not knowing anything about
Environmental officials, who con-
tinue to sample wells in the area, have
"We really don't know how long the
problem has been there whether it's
from someone who was there (in past
years) or someone who's still doing this,"
said Diane Trommer, of the Tampa dis-
trict of the Florida Department of Envi-
Affected residents have raised other
Letters from the county Health De-
partment don't explain anything about
the chemical found in the wells, or what
found locally, too
level is considered harmful.
"The average person doesn't know
what this is," said 74-year-old Carl Howe.
"I tried to find it in my books, but It's not
The state doesn't routinely test pri-
vate wells. They're only tested when
somebody suspects something wrong
with his water.
In this case, because PCE is clear in
color, residents had no clue anything
was wrong. The problem only surfaced
when a Marion County woman asked
Hillsborough health officials to test a
wel on 64th Street her mother used.
She had read a Tribune article about
a toxic landfill on 62nd Street, and
was concerned it was polluting wells
nearby on 64th Street off Broadway
It wasn't Officials didn't find any
of the contaminants associated with
the landfill. But theyfound PCE and
to a much lesser extent, another sol-
vent called trichloroethylene.
Nine private wells between 64th
and 71st streets exceed state stand-
Sards for PCE, the DER said. Three
other wells showed levels of PCE or
other contaminants below the state
standard. Seven showed no trace of
i the chemicals.
The highest level of PCE was
found at Alaric Inc., a plastic-recy-
cling company on 71st Street that
has never used the chemical in its
five years of business, according to
company president Peter Blyth.
PCE was found in water there in
concentrations of 6,700 parts PCE
per billion parts water 2,250 times
the state standard of 3 parts per bil-
Last week, authorities took meas-
urements of 64th Street to hook up
the area to city water.
"This was a shock to us," Jonnie
Howe said. "I thought we were here