KINGSTON, Tenn. (AP) - Some water samples near a massive spill
of coal ash are showing high levels of arsenic, and state and
federal officials on Monday cautioned residents who use private
wells or springs to stop drinking the water.
Samples taken near the spill slightly exceed drinking water
standards for toxic substances, and arsenic in one sample was
higher than the maximum level allowed for drinking water, according
to a news release from the Tennessee Valley Authority, which
operates the power plant where the spill occurred, the
Environmental Protection Agency and other officials.
TVA spokesman Jim Allen said there are four private drinking
water wells in the area affected by the spill and the agency should
have tests from them this week.
Arsenic occurs naturally in the environment, but elevated levels
can cause ailments ranging from nausea to partial paralysis, and
long-term exposure has been linked to several types of cancer,
according to the EPA.
Authorities have said the municipal water supply is safe to
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)