An update on water contamination at North Pole

The Department of Environmental Conservation, City of North Pole and Flint Hills refinery are updating people on water contamination in the North Pole area.

The questionable water comes from sulfolane, an industrial solvent that was found in wells near the Flint Hills refinery in 2009.

Flint Hills has provided a long-term alternative water supply to all North Pole residents with detectable levels of sulfolane in their well water

Ann Farris of the D. E. C. said Flints Hills will provide a garden tank for anyone to use.

She said “The recommendation right now is to use an alternative water supply not the groundwater to garden and or to drink.”

Since the problem was first discovered, they have come up with more information on the extent of the area affected.

They also have researched ways of getting rid of the pollution

“There are some options for cleaning up sulfolane that look like they’re going to speed up the removal from the groundwater”, she said.

North Pole is the only city in the country to ever have  sulfolane contamination and research is limited to a few animal studies.