MPCA examines potential contamination of water wells in 2 communities of twin cities


ANDOVER, MINN. (TBEN) – The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has announced that it is investigating findings of contamination in private wells in two communities in Twin Cities, including a TBEN reported earlier this week.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency conducted a drinking water study in the Red Oaks neighborhood of Andover over the summer and found that 40 homes with private wells had levels of dioxane, a toxic waste, in excess of the health risk limit – the safety threshold. Municipal water, however, is safe to drink, the MPCA said.

Dioxane is a probable human carcinogen, detailed the Minnesota Department of Health in a recent two-sheet explainer from the Andover study.

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On Friday, the MPCA said it had expanded well sampling and found private wells above health risk limits in the town of Gem Lake. They sent 150 letters to properties for sampling, and about 100 returned requests for sampling. About 15 wells have exceeded limits and these homes are now receiving bottled water.

The pollution control agency is discussing with the residents of Gem Lake possible long-term solutions such as deeper wells, connection to city water or other alternatives.

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It is not known exactly where the source of the newly reported contamination is. Dioxane is used as a stabilizer in TCE, a chemical that has been banned by the state following investigations into Water Gremlin. The MPCA said it has been tracking dioxane levels found as part of its ongoing investigation into the Water Gremlin contamination.

Water Gremlin officials released this statement Thursday evening:

Water Gremlin worked in full cooperation with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency when performing residential well testing.

Results from samples taken to date in the Gem Lake area show no evidence that our organization is the source of dioxane found in residential wells. In fact, the evidence gathered suggests that Water Gremlin is not the likely source, as the Minnesota Department of Health map indicates.

Residential well tests showing elevated dioxane levels can be found nearly 1.3 miles from our property, while residential well tests closer to our site show no detection of dioxane.