From staff reports
State and local health officials will join DuPont in
conducting a door-to-door ground water use survey and testing
private wells in Little Hocking and Porterfield this week to
determine the extent and concentration of C8 in Ohio.
Scheduled to begin tomorrow, the water sampling will take
place on the Ohio side of the river within a mile radius of
DuPont's Washington Works Plant in West Virginia.
"There's probably 30 to 40 private wells right around our
well field," said Bob Griffin, general manager of the Little
Hocking Water Association.
Griffin said the water association is taking a wait-and-see
attitude and has yet to issue any advisories about the
The door-to-door survey and testing will include a series
of questions for homeowners as well as a request from
officials to sample a water well if present.
Last week, DuPont and the West Virginia Department of
Environmental Protection decided to expand the testing to a
two-mile radius around the plant after tests showed the
chemical present in private wells and cisterns near the plant.
The chemical originates from the DuPont plant and is used in
A total of 162 private wells and cisterns in West Virginia
already have been tested for the chemical. The wells and
landfills tested all were within a one-mile radius of the
plant. Many of the results showed small traces of the
chemical, while two had levels high enough to be of concern.
The chemical also has been detected in the public water
supplies of Belpre, Little Hocking, Tuppers Plains and
Parkersburg and Lubeck, W.Va. Testing started after residents
of Lubeck filed a suit against DuPont, saying the chemical was
harmful to their health. DuPont has denied the chemical is
harmful to humans.
State environmental officials also have extended the
testing of public water systems down river to the Pomeroy
area. The Ohio River will also be tested.
"We're watching it, but there's nothing to panic about,"
said Ken Robinson, with the Washington County Health
Also last week, the federal Environmental Protection Agency
announced that DuPont would have to replace the water supply
of any source found to have C8 at levels of 14 parts per
billion or higher. So far, levels have not been detected that