News Release 208

Department finds TCE levels above the federal drinking water standards in two private wells in Rogersville

Volume 38-208 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Judd Slivka

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, APRIL 9, 2010 --The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has completed the first stage of an inquiry into the source of a chemical used in cleaning solvents that has been found in wells west of Rogersville, located east of Springfield on U.S. Highway 60.

The department is inquiring into the source of trichloroethylene, commonly referred to as TCE, found in wells near Rogersville.

The department sampled 33 private wells in Rogersville during the last week of March. Of the 33 wells samples analyzed, six had detects of TCE. Two of the six wells had levels of TCE above the federal drinking water standards. The six wells are located south of Hwy. 60, west of S Farm Road 253, east of S Farm Road 241 and north of the E. Blueberry Lane alignment. The residents of the two wells with TCE above the federal drinking water standard were notified of the results and the residents of the four wells with detected levels of TCE are being notified.

The Department of Natural Resources will be returning to Rogersville next week to resample the six wells with detects of TCE and sample any additional wells in the one-mile radius that were not included in the initial round of sampling.

The department will continue to work with the city of Rogersville, county officials in both Webster and Greene counties and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to understand better the extent of TCE in the western Rogersville area groundwater.

The department’s inquiry started when a small cluster of wells near Compass Plaza, a commercial area on Rogersville’s western edge showed detects for TCE.

The department continues to monitor the drinking water at the Logan-Rogersville primary, middle and high schools and Rogersville’s two municipal wells. To date, none of these wells have shown TCE contamination.

Trichloroethylene is a nonflammable colorless liquid used mainly as a solvent to remove grease from metal parts, but it is also an ingredient in adhesives, paint removers, typewriter correction fluids and spot removers. In concentrated form it has a somewhat sweet odor and a sweet, burning taste, but it would be unlikely that such characteristics would be noticed in water with TCE contamination. Long-term exposure to low levels of TCE may increase the risk of certain health effects.

Residents with any health questions or concerns should contact Jonathan Garoutte with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services at 573-751-6102.

Residences who want their well tested or have questions about the inquiry should contact Julieann Warren with the Department of Natural Resources at 573-751-1087 or Wally Miller at 417-891-4338. For more information on the inquiry, visit the department’s website at