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MPCA Looking Into Potential Contamination Of Water Wells In 2 Twin Cities Communities

ANDOVER, MINN. (WCCO) -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has announced it's looking into findings of contamination in private wells in two Twin Cities communities, including one WCCO reported on earlier this week.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency conducted a study testing drinking water in Andover's Red Oaks neighborhood over the summer and found 40 homes with private wells had levels of dioxane, a toxic waste product, higher than health risk limit -- the threshold for safety. The municipal water, though, is clean to drink, the MPCA said.

Dioxane is a likely human carcinogen, the Minnesota Department of Health detailed in a recent two-sheet explainer of the Andover study.

On Friday, the MPCA said that they expanded the well sampling and found private wells above health risk limits in the city of Gem Lake. They sent 150 letters to properties for sampling, and about 100 returned requests to get sampled. Roughly 15 wells exceeded limits, and those homes are now getting bottled water.

The pollution control agency is talking with Gem Lake residents about possible long-term solutions such as deeper wells, hooking up to city water, or other alternatives.

It's not clear where the source of the newly reported contamination is. Dioxane is used as a stabilizer in TCE, a chemical that was banned by the state following investigations into Water Gremlin. The MPCA said they have following up on dioxane levels found as part of their ongoing Water Gremlin contamination investigation.

Water Gremlin officials released this statement Thursday evening:

Water Gremlin has been working in full cooperation with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency when conducting the residential well testing.

The results of samples taken to date in the Gem Lake area show no evidence that our organization is the source of dioxane found in residential wells. In fact, the evidence gathered suggest Water Gremlin is not the likely source as the map from the Minnesota Department of Health indicates.

Residential well tests showing elevated levels of dioxane are nearly 1.3 miles from our property, while residential well tests closer to our site show no detection of dioxane.

There is a community meeting on Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. for neighbors to learn more about next steps.


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