Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pipe Leak Follow-up Discovers Problem Well

By: Nathan Lamb

A testing program implemented after a gas pipeline spill has discovered a toxic chemical in public drinking water, according to this story in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

The Village of Jackson, Wisconsin, shut down one of its five public wells in May, after the potential carcinogen benzene was discovered in the water.

The village plans to spend up to $20,000 this month to investigate the cause of the contamination.

The problem was discovered by a monthly testing program that was implemented after a West Shore fuel pipeline broke and spilled roughly 54,000 gallons of gasoline into a pasture off Western Avenue last summer.

According to a previous report, the spill was roughly two miles away from the contaminated Jackson Drive well, but officials say groundwater from the spill area flows in the opposite direction.

Fuel storage tanks closer to the well have been identified as another possible source.

According to the EPA, benzene is used extensively in the tire and shoe industries, and is often associated with fuels, plastic production and paint thinning.

Benzene spilled onto soil typically migrates into groundwater. Drinking water contaminated with high levels of benzene can cause immune system deficiencies, bone marrow problems, cancer and death.

Located roughly 30 miles northwest of Milwaukee, the Village of Jackson has a population of roughly 7,500 people.

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