Testing of SLO County wells shows TCE levels significantly above safe drinking water standards

Jan 28, 2016

The State of California is preparing to update residents of San Luis Obispo County who have well water that recently tested positive for the industrial solvent trichloroethylene, or TCE.

The Water Board was testing 59 wells in the Buckley Road area, near the San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport. As of Thursday evening, 11 of those had tested positive with TCE levels above safe drinking water standards.
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The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board will hold a public meeting next week to address concerns.

As of Thursday evening, 56 of 59 wells in San Luis Obispo's Buckley Road area had completed test results, with 11 showing unsafe TCE levels. One of those wells had a reading of 45 micrograms per liter (parts per billion). The safe drinking water threshold is 5.

Thea Tryon is the Site Cleanup Program Manager and told KCBX that the board is working to locate the source of the contamination.

"We are still reviewing information that was submitted by the airport," said Tryon. "Right now, we do not know what the source of the TCE is."

The public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 4, 2016 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Water Board office, 895 Aerovista Place, Suite 101 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401.