Belated urgency on contaminated well water

waterfaucetIt’s good news that 10 affected homes have been hooked up to the municipal water supply, with service promised soon to the rest of the 114 homes in west Wichita where officials say private wells were contaminated by dry-cleaning chemicals. “First thing’s first: Getting water service to the folks as quickly and expeditiously as possible,” said Alan King, the city of Wichita’s director of public works and utilities, noting that the process is being streamlined and the fee details will be worked out later with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. “Our No. 1 concern right now is that everyone has healthy water to drink,” is how KDHE spokesman Ashton Rucker put it. Urgency is certainly in order now. But where was it five years ago, when KDHE first detected the tetrachloroethylene, a likely carcinogen, in a monitoring well on West Kellogg?