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Department of Environmental Protection: Well Water Tainted

GAMBLE TOWNSHIP -- A flip of the handle and his faucet runs fine, but Steve Brady and his family are not supposed to drink the water from it. According to the state, his well water and a handful of his neighbor’s wells near Trout Run are contaminated.

"We're concerned about the impact because of what's in the water. We're happy that DEP has responded the way they have," said Brady.

Right now, the Department of Environmental Protection is investigating how trichloroethene or TCE, ended up in the water supply of six homes near Rose Valley Lake.

According to the state, TCE is often used by dry cleaners to remove stains. It's harmful to ingest.

Brady says he alerted DEP after a natural gas company detected the substance while doing a routine test on his well.

"My daughter is a hydro-geologist, and so when we mentioned to her that they found this in the water, she dutifully freaked out and told us this is something serious. It doesn't happen, occur naturally, and we need to do something about it," said Brady.

DEP is providing everyone affected with fresh water while it investigates. The state isn't sure how the carcinogen that could cause some cancers, got into the water supply, and it has no reason to believe the gas industry is to blame.

Brady says the drilling companies don't normally test for the chemical because they don't use it.

"The real obvious answer is somebody dumped trichloroethylene at some point in the past five to 25 years in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania where no one lives. It makes a lot of sense, 'I'm just going to get rid of this terrible thing where no one is going to find it until people move in,'" said Brady.

DEP will install water treatment systems in each home affected by this spring. These systems are expected to filter out the harmful chemicals in the water supply.

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