Northwest Harris County wells contaminated by toxic dumping testing confirms

Decades of toxic dumping could well be taking a terrible toll on homeowners along Jones Road. 

"Ground Zero" for the contamination of groundwater is a long abandoned dry cleaner where the past owner dumped untold gallons of the cancer causing chemical, Tetrachloroethylene, straight onto the ground.

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Declared a Superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency, recent testing by the Texas Health and Environment Alliance has confirmed the worst - a clear and continuing danger.

"We recently sampled about 70 private groundwater wells surrounding the Superfund site, and we are finding samples of the dry cleaning chemicals in people's private groundwater wells that provide water to their tap at levels about four times the legal limit," said Jackie Medcalf, Executive Director of THEA.  

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Back in 2019, FOX 26 reported the results of a Texas Department of Health Services study which revealed the rate of pediatric Leukemia in the immediate area at more than twice the state average.

Medcalf says THEA's recent testing proves clean-up efforts thus far have been less than effective.

"We need the EPA to get everyone in this area off of private wells because until they do that, they can't stabilize the plume, and they cannot effectively prevent people from consuming these chemicals," said Medcalf.

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Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey says he is deeply concerned about the ongoing threat, and is imploring the EPA to aid residents in detaching from contaminated well water and connecting to a safe supply.

"I think it's so urgent that they get off of those wells. There is no benefit to staying on the wells. Get off the wells and get on the public system that's out there," said Ramsey.