Former American Cleaners Dry Cleaners Site

412 W Grand Avenue
Haysville, Kansas 67060

ISL #C2-087-72896

The City of Haysville Public Water Supply is not affected.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment takes seriously its obligation to protect Kansans from environmental contamination. It's important to note that as soon as the agency learned that water contamination found in the Haysville area was in the path of privately-used water wells on July 17, 2017, affected residents were immediately notified, and alternate water supplies were provided. KDHE wants residents to feel confident in the safety of the water they drink but should those who utilize well water question their supply, we encourage them to have their wells tested. If contamination is detected, please notify KDHE right away, so that we can address the issue.

KDHE Well Sampling

KDHE's Dry Cleaning Remediation Program will continue to conduct sampling of domestic water supply wells only in the identified Map of the Area of Concern (JPEG) (outlined on this map) that were not previously sampled. Residents with wells in the Area of Concern are encouraged to contact KDHE at 785-291-3252 to request to have their private well sampled. KDHE has adopted the EPA Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for safe drinking water in Kansas. Additional information regarding the EPA MCLs for safe drinking water can be found at the link below.

Sampling Your Own Well

Residents wanting an alternative for collecting a water sample can pay a laboratory or environmental consultant to perform the task. Samples should be collected by qualified individuals and the analysis conducted by a lab specifically accredited by KDHE for volatile organic compounds (aka VOCs or volatiles) using EPA Method 8260. The method detection limit should be equal to or less than 1.0 micrograms per liter. Lab reports can be provided to KDHE's Dry Cleaning Program for assistance in interpreting the results.

Site Background

Groundwater emanating from the area near the former American Cleaners dry cleaning site at 412 West Grand Avenue in Haysville has been contaminated by volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). VOCs are liquid or solid chemicals that can easily evaporate into gases and are a significant source of pollution in the environment. They are sometimes found in the groundwater beneath certain industrial businesses, such as dry cleaners.

A VOC commonly used at dry cleaning facilities is tetrachloroethylene, also known as PCE. Historically PCE is a predominant chemical solvent used in dry cleaning, but it is also used to clean metal machinery and to manufacture some consumer products and other chemicals. It is a clear, colorless liquid that has a sharp, sweet odor and evaporates quickly. PCE is an effective cleaning solvent for removing stains and dirt from common types of fabrics. PCE degrades naturally to trichloroethylene (TCE). Historically, TCE has also been a predominant chemical solvent used to clean metal machinery as well as manufacture consumer products and other chemicals. TCE degrades to cis-1,2-dichloroethylene (DCE). DCE is a highly flammable, colorless liquid with a sharp, harsh odor. It is used to produce solvents and in chemical mixtures. DCE degrades to vinyl chloride (VC). VC is a manufactured substance with a mild, sweet odor that does not occur naturally; but can also be formed when other substances such as trichloroethylene, and tetrachloroethylene are broken down. Vinyl chloride is used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC) which is then used to make a variety of plastic products, including pipes, wire and cable coatings, and packaging materials. VC is a toxic chemical classified as a Group A carcinogen with both human health and environmental concerns.

The map shown below on the left depicts the contaminant plume, and the map on the right depicts the general Area of Concern, which is the groundwater plume plus a buffer of up to one block from the suspected boundary of the contamination. The Area of Concern is marked by the red box on the map; the purple box represents the previous Area of Concern.

Public Availability Sessions

Four Public Availability Sessions have been held to provide information to the residents located in the vicinity of the Area of Concern. Please select the blue text to view the meeting presentations.

Update August 28, 2018

New City Water Main Installation: Much progress has occurred since KDHE initiated an emergency response in July 2017. KDHE's initial response was to provide alternative water supplies to residents in the area of concern downgradient of the former American Cleaners dry cleaning facility at 412 West Grand Avenue in Haysville (City). KDHE coordinated with the City of Haysville to complete the design and installation of 8.7 miles of the new city water main, and connect impacted residences to the City public water supply. Installation of new city water mains was completed by May 2018.

City Water Main Connections: KDHE has connected 209 of 211 known permanent residences on private domestic wells to the new City of Haysville city water mains. The remaining residences have not been connected due to foreclosure or other access issues. KDHE appreciates the patience and cooperation that residents have provided as KDHE's subcontractor, and plumbers, to schedule/conduct individual property pre-bid site visits, as well as the coordination for connection of residences to the City water mains.

Contaminant Plume Delineation: EMR, under KDHE's guidance, conducted environmental assessment activities of the geology, groundwater, and contaminant plume attributable to the former American Cleaners site. The information was used to strategically design and install 30 monitoring wells in 14 locations: 12 co-located sets of two wells, and 2 co-located sets of three wells. Samples from the monitoring wells are used to monitor the groundwater plume in the shallow, intermediate and deep intervals. The monitoring well installations were completed in September and October 2017. KDHE continues to collect samples from the monitoring wells.

Future Activities: KDHE has completed emergency response at the former American Cleaners site. The next step will be to collect the geologic data necessary to develop a remediation plan to address the contamination. KDHE will work with remediation engineers to design and install a remediation system to address the source of contamination.

Health Impacts

The KDHE Bureau of Epidemiology and Public Health Informatics (BEPHI) is available to answer health-related questions. BEPHI is in the process of conducting a health study looking at rates of specific cancer and birth outcomes for the affected area. BEPHI epidemiologists are using public records to gather information on adults who may have lived in the area of concern in the past. This information will then be checked against the information in registries including the Kansas Cancer Registry and the Birth Defects Information System. The results of the health study should not affect individuals seeking advice from a medical provider. Members of the community who had been exposed to contaminated water should discuss this and other risk factors, including family history, work history, smoking status, alcohol consumption, diet, etc., with their physician. BEPHI's findings are summarized in the Haysville Open Letter with Signature (PDF), dated April 8, 2019. This health study did not find any increased rates of target cancers or birth defects for the area.

For general additional information regarding the health impacts from exposure to the contaminants of concern associated with the former American Cleaners site, please follow the links below to the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs™ summaries. More in-depth discussions on the health impacts can be found in the ATSDR Public Health Statements for the contaminants. The concentrations of the contaminants of concern attributed to the former American Cleaners Dry Cleaners site are in the concentration range of parts-per-billion (ppb) (micrograms per liter). Most of the health impacts discussed in the ATSDR documents are from exposure to the contaminants of concern in the concentration range of parts-per-million (ppm) (milligrams per liter); or pure forms of the chemicals. (1 ppm is equal to 1,000 ppb.) The EPA has established MCLs for safe drinking water to limit the levels of contaminants in drinking water.




Vinyl Chloride:

Additional Information

For additional site information, please contact:

  • Environmental Questions - Drinking water, contaminant type, etc.
    Joseph Dom, P.G.
    Assessment and Restoration Section Chief
    KDHE Bureau of Environmental Remediation
    Curtis State Office Building
    1000 SW Jackson Street
    Suite 410
    Topeka, KS 66612-1367
    Phone: 785-296-1914
    Email Joeseph Dom 
  • Public Health Questions - Health Impacts
    Farah S. Ahmed, MPH, PhD
    Environmental Health Officer
    Kansas Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Prevention Program
    Curtis State Office Building
    1000 SW Jackson Street
    Suite 330
    Topeka, KS 66612-1367
    Phone: 785-296-6426
    Email Farah Ahmed