Astounding levels of cancer-causing chemicals discovered in Franklin neighborhood sewers

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FRANKLIN, Ind. (WTHR) - 13 investigates has obtained test results showing contamination in sewers in one Franklin neighborhood at astounding levels.

The chemical TCE registered as high as 252 times over the safe limit set by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management in one sewer gas test, and 148 times over what's considered safe in another sewer.

The same sewers also had extremely high levels of PCE, according to a report by EnviroForensics of Indianapolis. The firm was hired by the City of Franklin to conduct groundwater and gas vapor testing in the Hamilton Avenue Glendale Drive Neighborhood across from the old Amphenol/Franklin Power Products site.

The PCE level in one sewer was up to 53 times over IDEM’s residential soil gas screening level of what’s considered safe.

According to EnviroForensics:

22,300 micrograms per cubic meter was discovered in Sewer Gas sample #4. The safe limit is 420 micrograms per cubic meter.

TCE was even more problematic in that sewer line that flows underneath homes. 5,310 micrograms per cubic meter was detected. IDEM's Sewer Gas Screening level is just 21 micrograms per meter. Translated, it means the amount found is 252 times over the limit of what’s considered safe.

EnviroForensics also found PCE and TCE exceeding the safe groundwater screening levels.

“An immediate evaluation of residences near DP-6 (groundwater contamination area) and sewer backfill soil gas samples (SGU-1 and SGU-4) should be conducted to determine which structures require further VI (vapor intrusion) assessment,” said the report signed by two EnviroForensics Directors.

The findings have prompted the EPA to extend its investigation and seek permission to do additional testing in at least 12 homes near Hamilton and Forsythe Streets and near the Ross Court area.