MANORVILLE, Long Island - The Department of Environmental Conservation took the first step Tuesday to figure out the source of a banned gasoline additive which has turned up in people's drinking water in Manorville, Long Island.
"We know it's approximately 40-90 feet below the surface of the ground, but now we want to know how wide the plume is," said Karen Gomez, DEC.
MTBE has been banned in New York State since 2004.
So you can imagine the surprise when it showed up in three people's wells last month.
Since then, the DEC has put filtration systems in the affected homes.
"They came and installed this just before Christmas, this is my Christmas present from the DEC and it's working great. I have test results showing that by the time the MTBE water hits this first tank it's clear," said Clare Bennett, Manorville resident.
The DEC will collect a series of groundwater samples at different depths to try to get a sense of how widespread the contamination is.
"We know groundwater flow is toward the southeast, so then we can determine where our next sampling location should be and then we basically try and trace the contamination back to its source," Gomez said.
"Oh everybody is always concerned, but you know why jump the gun? Let's see when the final testing comes in and then we'll see," said Ray Kreiger, Manorville resident.
Samples gathered Tuesday that went down about 100 feet will take 7-10 days to process.
It will take several months for them to figure out the source, and there is a possibility they may never know.
Wednesday, three permanent monitoring wells will be installed to see what the plume is doing.