Traces of 'probable carcinogen' found in Madison wells

Additional testing to be conducted

Published On: Apr 18 2013 03:34:38 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 18 2013 03:34:51 PM CDT
Water faucet
MADISON, Wis. -

Traces of a chemical listed as a probable carcinogen have been detected in four of Madison's city wells, prompting the city to conduct further testing.

Madison city officials said the chemical 1,4 dioxane is a man-made chemical often used as a stabilizer for a solvent.

Testing for the chemical wasn't required in Madison in 2015, according to EPA standards, but city officials said the water utility wanted to conduct the testing early.

The tests revealed trace amounts of 1,4 dioxane at the following levels measured by parts per billion:

• Well 9 (Spaanem Avenue): 0.12 ppb
• Well 11 (near east side Woodman's): 0.39 - 0.63 ppb
• Well 14 (University Avenue near Whitney Way): 0.29 ppb
• Well 15 (East Washington Avenue near Lien Road): 0.17 ppb

State's that have set guidelines for 1,4 dioxane set limits ranging from 2 ppb to 30 ppb.

City officials said there's no evidence to suggest the low levels of the chemical pose a significant health risk, and that the city's water meets all federal and state drinking water standards.

Results of the additional testing are expected in the fall.