WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — On Thursday, Aug. 18, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) started soliciting the public’s comments regarding its proposed plan for the 29th and Grove site, an area of Wichita that has environmental contamination.

In the 90s, the City of Wichita had identified chlorinated solvents in the groundwater while planning redevelopment in the area.

“The primary contaminant is a volatile organic compound called Trichloroethylene, an acronym used is TCE,” said Mary Daily, the professional geologist for the site. “It’s a common chemical commonly used for medal degreasing and cleaning.”

According to Daily, multiple investigations revealed that the source of the contamination was coming from an area along the Union Pacific Railroad’s switching yard, located east of I-135 and south of K-96.

There are an estimated 3,500 people living in the area. All have access to safe water because homes and businesses in the area are hooked up to the city’s water, which is tested often.

Daily says as far as having access to safe groundwater in the area. It will take some more time.

“I’ve heard people refer to it as like similar to trying to get soap out of a sponge, you have to rinse, rinse and rinse and rinse until you get all the soap out,” Daily said.

To view the proposed plan for the site, as well as sharing your thoughts and opinions on it, click here.