Contaminated water area bigger than first thought

Water (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kansas – KSN has been following the water contamination story since it broke in April.

At the time, the KDHE said the contamination was from near Central and Tyler and south to Kellogg.

It said the toxic chemicals were from the closed Four-Seasons Dry Cleaner.

On Monday, KSN received a new map. It is pictured below.

It includes the buffer zone from the original map and adds on about 15 more homes.

It also adds the old Best Cleaners as a source.

Since then, crews have been working to get some homeowners in west Wichita off of their groundwater wells and onto city water lines after contamination was first discovered.

Now, those efforts have been ramped up after a new discovery.

“We found a second origin of contamination. However, this did not really affect any private domestic wells in the area,” said Sara Belfry, Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

While officials with KDHE say there weren’t many new homes affected by this new discovery, it still means new water mains have to be installed.

City officials are trying to stay ahead of the spreading contamination.

“Any time that there’s groundwater appreciation, it’s a serious deal for us, but it becomes more pronounced when it’s in an area like out in west Wichita where homes and properties are not serviced by the city water system,” said Ben Nelson, Wichita Public Works.

Work is being done on three additional roads, and while many residents say they’re happy to know the city is being proactive, others who aren’t affected by the contaminated wells still have questions.

“I have them out there doing whatever they please and haven’t said hey, this is what’s going on,”  said Jennifer Kisner, Wichita resident

While officials say that it’s for the best and will keep residents in the area safe, some homeowners contend they shouldn’t be forced to get in on the city’s plan.

“I think it should be a homeowners choice to be honest. If they want it for a future protection, I’d understand that but not doing it without a privilege, a consent, I do have a problem with,” added Kisner.

KDHE officials say they will continue monitoring the area to see what happens with this contamination.

City officials say that all construction should still be finished by August.


FBAM Water Contamination MAP Updated 4

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