Water well contamination in Stamford, Conn., is raising the specter that there may be extensive contamination of wells throughout the state, according to this article. Private water well testing in the city has revealed 31 percent of those tested are contaminated with chlordane and dieldrin, two pesticides banned a long time ago.
A representative of the state’s department of health said her department thinks the problem is more widespread than just Stamford. Other communities, however, are not responding to calls for testing within their jurisdictions. Some believe that’s because of funding issues and the effect on property values if the pollution is found.
Of the 628 wells tested in Stamford, 195 had levels of the pesticides, and 108 exceeded the action levels established by the state. There are another 5,000 private wells in Stamford, and that is raising concerns about how many people are potentially being exposed to the chemicals over long periods of time.
Chlordane and dieldrin were usually used to control insect pests on crops and to control termites. People are exposed to the chemicals when they drink or bathe in water containing them. People can install whole house water filters to take care of the problem. Health officials point out that the levels of the pesticides can fluctuate, so unless regular sampling is taking place, it’s not possible to know just how much exposure people are getting.