Chemists test Winnabow drinking water near private junkyard

WINNABOW -- Chemists were in Winnabow Thursday to test the drinking water of residents who live near a private junkyard. There are concerns about seeping chemicals. Three drinking wells were tested at homes surrounding Phillip Rivers's property. His land was deemed a junkyard by a Brunswick County judge in March. Since then Rivers has been ordered to clean up his property or the county would do it for him -- and put a lien on his house to cover the costs. Attorneys for the county say old refrigerators and drink machines may have leaked Freon and other chemicals into neighbors' water wells. Initial soil tests of rivers property found 800 times the amount of oil and grease deemed safe. Some nearby neighbors say they had no idea their water might be contaminated. "That's rather shocking," said Tracey Bradley, Rivers's neighbor. "I didn't know anything about it until about two days ago and then they said that the water could be contaminated, and I don't know, that just didn't sound good." Chemists tested for pesticides, herbicides, gasoline, diesel fuels and oils. Results of the water tests won't be complete for another two weeks.

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