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More Blades-area private wells under investigation for contamination

Katie Peikes
Delaware Public Media
DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin addresses Blades-area residents.

State environmental and health officials told Blades-area residents Thursday night they’ve shifted their focus to testing private wells after the town's new filtration system significantly lowered contaminants in municipal wells.

Of the 44 private wells tested and the 24 samples returned so far, four homes have been given carbon filtration systems to clear up contaminants.

Three of them had levels of perfluorinated compounds above the Environmental Protection Agency's human health advisory of 70 parts per trillion. A fourth well was close enough to 70 ppt that the homeowner was also given a filtration system.

Questions remain, including how one well can be affected while adjacent ones aren’t, and if contaminants can migrate from one well to another.

Blades-area resident Stephanie Angeles shares those concerns. PFCs in her well registered at about 10 ppt, below the EPA's advisory, but she's still concerned because her neighbors' wells had no PFCs at all.

"There's only three of us on the street. Two are clear, I am not, and yet they are further south than I am," Angeles said.

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn Garvin says there are many reasons why one well might be contaminated, while nearby ones are not.

"The depths of the wells could be different, there could be channels and flows of the water in which it's getting to one area and not making it to the other," Garvin said.

The state will have a better idea of any possible trends once officials get more data back. Garvin said more wells are scheduled to be tested.

Officials are still investigating where the source of contamination might be.

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