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Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
December 6, 2002     Cape Gazette
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December 6, 2002
 

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14 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, MTBE Continued from page 1 "When we find contaminated wells, we continue testing along a potential line of exposure accord- ing to our experience of how MTBE moves through groundwa- ter," said Banning: "If we find clean wells, we don't go further. The situation looks like it is contained in the western-most section of the neigh- borhood. If a homeowner, howev- er, has a concern about the smell or taste of his water, he should contact DNREC." The standard chemistry test that the Delaware Department of Public Health performs for private well-owners does not test for volatile, organic chemicals like MTBE. Homeowners should request the test if they detects a chemical smell in the water simi- lar to ether or turpentine. When New Castle and Kent counties had below-standard .air quality in the 1990s, the Environ- mental Protection Agency (EPA) instructed distributors to add oxy- Dec. 6 - Dec. 12, 2002 genates, like MTBE, to gasoline to reduce carbon monoxide emis- sions. Sussex County voluntarily complied. Although the additive improves air quality, it has shown up in Delaware's groundwater since 1997. MTBE is water soluble and does not bond well to soil; there- fore, when the additive hits the ground, it seeps into aquifers and wells easily. "The health risks are not clear," said Banning. "The EPA put out an advisory that humans might not like the taste or odor of water con- taining 20 to 40 micrograms of MTBE per liter of water." Researchers have recorded can- cer and noncancer effects in rats exposed to high levels of MTBE according to a consumer fact sheet published by the EPA. While the tests suggest health concerns for humans, the degree of risk involved with exposure to'low concentrations found in water contamination is uncertain. The tank management division of DNREC, which is heading up the investigation in Tru-Vale Amy Reardon photo Shown in the picture is the entrance to Tru-Vale Acres, where methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) has contaminated six private wells. N 0 % New Construction Condo Specialists Local Purchases Rapid Refinances Hry. E, Va/ue APR 6.023% 100% No Documentation Investment Super Low Rates CONTACT ROBIN FRUEHAUF CALL (302) 226-8500 Acres, has not found the source of the leak. Possible sources include large car accidents, spills from lawn mowers and cars, and leaks from gas station underground storage tanks. "Our first priority is to make sure that homeowners have clean water to drink," said Banning. As of Dec. 4, contractors had installed carbon filters in the water lines of five out of six con- taminated wells. Carbon filters are temporary solutions. Drilling deeper wells or installing a public water system are more permanent solutions. "We will not force a course of action on the community. They will be part of the decision mak- ing process. "If a public water system is installed, people will have the choice whether or not to eormect to the system," said Banning. Those who suspect their water contains MTBE should call the DNREC Tank Management Division at 302-395-2500. 'S ,..the fasting difference, Ilur00 Sale Ends Sunday, December 8th Sun. 12-4 The Best Git00 Come In The Black Bag 3602 II One, Rehoboth Beach 727-6410 www.belsjewelers.com 14 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, MTBE Continued from page 1 "When we find contaminated wells, we continue testing along a potential line of exposure accord- ing to our experience of how MTBE moves through groundwa- ter," said Banning: "If we find clean wells, we don't go further. The situation looks like it is contained in the western-most section of the neigh- borhood. If a homeowner, howev- er, has a concern about the smell or taste of his water, he should contact DNREC." The standard chemistry test that the Delaware Department of Public Health performs for private well-owners does not test for volatile, organic chemicals like MTBE. Homeowners should request the test if they detects a chemical smell in the water simi- lar to ether or turpentine. When New Castle and Kent counties had below-standard .air quality in the 1990s, the Environ- mental Protection Agency (EPA) instructed distributors to add oxy- Dec. 6 - Dec. 12, 2002 genates, like MTBE, to gasoline to reduce carbon monoxide emis- sions. Sussex County voluntarily complied. Although the additive improves air quality, it has shown up in Delaware's groundwater since 1997. MTBE is water soluble and does not bond well to soil; there- fore, when the additive hits the ground, it seeps into aquifers and wells easily. "The health risks are not clear," said Banning. "The EPA put out an advisory that humans might not like the taste or odor of water con- taining 20 to 40 micrograms of MTBE per liter of water." Researchers have recorded can- cer and noncancer effects in rats exposed to high levels of MTBE according to a consumer fact sheet published by the EPA. While the tests suggest health concerns for humans, the degree of risk involved with exposure to'low concentrations found in water contamination is uncertain. The tank management division of DNREC, which is heading up the investigation in Tru-Vale Amy Reardon photo Shown in the picture is the entrance to Tru-Vale Acres, where methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) has contaminated six private wells. N 0 % New Construction Condo Specialists Local Purchases Rapid Refinances Hry. E, Va/ue APR 6.023% 100% No Documentation Investment Super Low Rates CONTACT ROBIN FRUEHAUF CALL (302) 226-8500 Acres, has not found the source of the leak. Possible sources include large car accidents, spills from lawn mowers and cars, and leaks from gas station underground storage tanks. "Our first priority is to make sure that homeowners have clean water to drink," said Banning. As of Dec. 4, contractors had installed carbon filters in the water lines of five out of six con- taminated wells. Carbon filters are temporary solutions. Drilling deeper wells or installing a public water system are more permanent solutions. "We will not force a course of action on the community. They will be part of the decision mak- ing process. "If a public water system is installed, people will have the choice whether or not to eormect to the system," said Banning. Those who suspect their water contains MTBE should call the DNREC Tank Management Division at 302-395-2500. 'S ,..the fasting difference, Ilur00 Sale Ends Sunday, December 8th Sun. 12-4 The Best Git00 Come In The Black Bag 3602 II One, Rehoboth Beach 727-6410 www.belsjewelers.com