KDHE Testing Well Water In West Wichita

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Wichita, KS. -- The concern is over a company called Standard Products.

During the 50's and 60's the company made and repaired aircraft instruments at a site on East Gilbert. The instruments contained small amounts of radium -226 which made the instrument face glow in the dark. Chemicals like solvents were also used. Later the Gilbert site became an EPA clean up site where nearly 1,500 tons of bricks and contaminated soil was disposed of.

The company later moved to West Kellogg and eventually went out of business. It's that West Kellogg area where water wells are being checked now for tetrachloroethylene.

Although some residents are worried about chemicals in the well water they drink Elaine Notorio is one who is not worried. "I think we've been on it for 50 years and if it were that contaminated", said Notoria. "I guess we wouldn't be here."

KDHE did a major assessment in this area in 2009 that showed there were no alarming levels of radium. Only the background groundwater sampled showed levels of P-C-E higher than the standard for Kansas values. Otherwise, VOC concentrations in soil samples did not exceed RSK values. And the report showed some of this may well have come from a source other than the Standard Products company.

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