An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Seminole County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Seminole to sample wells for toxic chemical 1,4-dioxane

A day after an Orlando Sentinel investigation revealed that a toxic chemical has contaminated drinking water in northwest Seminole County for years, county officials on Wednesday posted a brief explanation of 1,4-dioxane on Seminole’s website and assured the public that its water is safe.

“The county’s potable water systems are sampled and tested for contaminants based on monitoring requirements established by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection,” according to the county website. “Safeguarding Seminole County’s drinking water is of the highest importance to the Board of County Commissioners and County staff.”

It also states that through August, county staff will begin collecting samples from all 25 potable wells within the county’s water service area “and the points of entry for all five potable water systems” on a monthly basis.

According to the website statement, the county has “engaged a consultant to assist with developing short-and-long-term plans to address internal protocols and processes related to sampling, monitoring, and reporting.”

The response comes after the Sentinel published online the first of a four-story series called Toxic Secret, about 1,4-dioxane contamination in Seminole. The second story will be published online Thursday and the first two will appear in Sunday’s print edition.

Concentrations of 1,4-dioxane in the county’s Northwest Service Area west of Interstate 4 have been about half that of the federal and state advisory level of 0.35 parts per billion. However, the chemical has been poorly studied for health effects and the first major study involving people began last year.