Kansas didn't inform residents of contaminated water

August 27, 2018 - 11:33 am

Kansas officials allowed hundreds of residents in two neighborhoods to drink contaminated water for years without telling them.

The Wichita Eagle reports that the state discovered dry cleaning chemicals had contaminated groundwater at a Haysville laundromat in 2011. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment didn't act for more than six years.

The state didn't test private wells less than a mile away, nor did it notify residents that their drinking wells could be contaminated.

The state also waited more than four years to notify more than 200 homes that officials discovered contamination near a Wichita dry cleaning site.

Dry cleaning chemicals can build up over time when consumed, potentially harming a person's nervous system, liver, kidneys and reproductive system.

The delays stem from a 1995 state law that places more emphasis on protecting the dry cleaning industry than public health.

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