Monday, December 29, 2008

Arsenic In Old Wells

It’s official: don’t drink the water if you live near the Kingston, TN coal ash spill:
KINGSTON - Some water samples near a massive spill of coal ash are showing high levels of arsenic, and state and federal officials today cautioned residents who use private wells or springs to stop drinking the water.

Also today, TVA's inspector general said he is investigating the fly-ash spill at the Kingston steam plant, as well as the agency's response, and Gov. Phil Bredesen weighed in today as well.

Samples taken near the spill slightly exceed drinking water standards for toxic substances, and arsenic in one sample was higher than the maximum level allowed for drinking water, according to a news release from TVA, the Environmental Protection Agency and other officials.

TVA spokesman Jim Allen said there are four private drinking water wells in the area affected by the spill and the agency should have tests from them this week.

This after TVA initially said water was safe to drink. Then “officials” -- not sure if that would be local, state or federal -- suggested folks boil their water first. As if this were bacterial pollution.

If only it were that easy.

Currently “officials” are saying the municipal water supply is safe. If it were me, I wouldn’t be using it for anything other than flushing the toilet.