Wake County missed an important opportunity to educate residents in eastern Wake County about the presence of unusually high levels of uranium in well water samples tested by the county.
The county alerted property owners if their well water samples showed high levels of the element, but they didn’t take the time to let neighbors know. County officials, essentially, said they didn’t want to make a problem seem larger than it was because, after all, one well could test positive for high levels of uranium, while the well next door showed normal levels.
While the science may show that to be true, it wouldn’t have been asking too much to send letters to residents explaining the high uranium levels in some of the tested wells and encouraging property owners to get their own wells tested.
That seems like the prudent thing to do once county officials began to see trends that indicated a higher number of wells in northeastern Wake County tested positive for uranium than in other parts of the county.
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It may not be the county’s responsibility to regulate or test private wells for safety. But if the county was going to go so far as to institute a fairly large sampling effort, it would have made sense for them to let the public know just what they were finding.
Gathering the information and simply storing it away does no one any good.