Dana – Last fall, NC Division of Water Quality groundwater testing discovered dangerous levels of dieldrin and other insecticides in the Academy Road area. The chemicals, which have been banned since the 1980s, contaminated at least a dozen private wells in the area. DWQ officials in the Asheville regional office are doing follow-up testing, and joined with the county and state environmental health programs to hold a community informational meeting in February.
DWQ began countywide groundwater investigations in 2008 because of long-term historical use of pesticides and insecticides. The agency has recommended two different types of carbon filters to affected well users, and is exploring the possibility of extending public water lines, currently about 1500 feet away. A few households qualify for income-based assistance from the state’s Bernard Allen Emergency Drinking Water Fund.
CWFNC spent an afternoon visiting with residents door to door. Most folks felt DWQ had done a good job communicating with them, but were glad to receive more information about the chemicals’ health effects and the options available for additional testing. We’ll be keeping in contact with them to help them get access to clean water!