KDHE releases new map of groundwater contamination in West Wichita

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email
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PCE Investigation History

  • Early 1960 - Cowboy Cleaners: Reportedly had coin operated dry cleaning machine(s)
  • 1960s - Converted to a dry cleaning facility - no coin op
  • 1980 - Name change to Four Seasons Dry Cleaners
  • 2001 - Changed ownership within family
  • 2004 - Phase II Environmental Site Assessment - 2 soil borings
  • 2005 - Last year registered as a dry cleaning facility
  • 2006-2008 - Registered as a drop off location
  • 2008 - Closed following a fire
  • December 2009 - PCE identified in monitoring wells at the Standard Products/West Kellogg Site at 7920 W. Kellogg. PCE less than 5.0 ppb. (Contamination was found but not associated with the specific site.  The site goes onto a list to await future federal funding for additional investigation.  Based on the information available in 2009, the site was prioritized for funding and investigation began in 2014)
  • Early 2014 - KDHE Site Assessment Program - Investigation to ID source of West Kellogg contamination. Identify domestic wells upgradient of Standard Products. Extensive well survey between W. 2nd St. N. and Maple and N. Tyler Rd and Socora St.
  • February 25, 2014: KAKE News reported KDHE was sending letters and surveys to residents with private wells in West Wichita
  • March 24, 2014: Groundwater assessment confirms a source of groundwater contamination as Four Seasons Dry Cleaners and transferred to KDHE Dry Cleaner Remediation Program
  • March 29, 2014: Residents receive letters advising them not to drink the water
  • March 31, 2014: KAKE News first to report the news about the contamination 
  • March 31, 2014: KDHE supplemental field investigation to delineate the contamination with mobile laboratory. Direct Push - Groundwater sampling 3 depths between 30 - 55' bgs
  • April 10, 2014: KDHE organizes first public meeting at Wilbur Middle School

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WICHITA, Kan.--- The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is overseeing the remediation process in West Wichita. They have released a new map with the sampling results from water of private drinking wells, south and east of Central and Tyler.

The map can be located by clicking here.

The Kansas Dry Cleaner Remediation Program will pay for the costs associated with connecting residents to the City of Wichita water supply.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is overseeing the remediation process in West Wichita, south of Central and Tyler.

"We've been working at identifying private drinking water wells, sampling those wells, and providing an alternative water supply so that's what we're working on right now. Phase one is to take care of the drinking water issues," said Bob Jurgens, KDHE Assessment and Restoration Section Chief.

On March 24, groundwater assessment confirmed a source of groundwater contamination at the former Four Seasons Dry Cleaners at 8947 W. Central. High levels of tetrachloroethylene or PCE were found in private water wells. The chemical solvent is commonly used at dry cleaning facilities.

"We're not saying that Four Seasons did anything illegal or anything like that. We're saying that facility is definitely a contributor to the contamination," said Jurgens.

The investigation was transferred to the Dry Cleaner Remediation Program, which was created in 1995. That same year, the Dry Cleaning Facility Release Trust Fund was created as a funding mechanism for conducting state-led investigations and remediation of soil and groundwater contamination at sites.

Money from the Fund will pay for the costs associated with remediation in the West Wichita neighborhood.

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