Cancer-causing chemical found in Sandston groundwater

Posted at 7:08 PM, Jan 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-09 22:22:21-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- The Environmental Protection Agency is investigating the groundwater in Sandston in Henrico County.

The epicenter of their investigation is between East Williamsburg Road, Federal Street, Garland Avenue and Naglee Avenue.

Officials have been going door to door in recent days distributing flyers and asking for water samples.

According to the flyers, Tetrachloroethylene was discovered in groundwater recently in the area by a building contractor.

Tetrachloroethylene is a suspected carcinogen that is often found in dry cleaning.

Environmental officials are investigating the extent of the contamination or whether it was an isolated case.

"Groundwater typically moves very slowly, so it could of been a situation that happened years ago," Bill Hayden, a Virginia Department of Environmental Quality representative, said.

Hayden reported that the good news is that residents who live near the contamination all have county water and not well water.

County water in the area is still believed to be safe.

The concern for residents, according to Hayden, may be the evaporation of the water into homes -- if the contamination turns out to be widespread.

"It may come up out of the ground and evaporate into a crowded space beneath a home," Hayden said.

Hayden gave no indication when the investigation may be completed.

Anyone who feels their water may be unsafe is encouraged to call the department of environmental quality.