Former Four Seasons Dry Cleaners Site
The City of Wichita Public Water Supply is not affected.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment takes seriously its obligation to protect Kansans from environmental contamination. 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 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.
Groundwater emanating from the area near the former Four Seasons dry-cleaning site at 8947 West Central Avenue in Wichita 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.
Public Availability Session
KDHE has completed emergency response at the Four Seasons site. The next steps will be to work with remediation engineers to design and install a remediation system to address the source of contamination. A Public Availability Session was held to provide information to the residents regarding the vapor intrusion assessment currently in progress and the proposed remedial action to clean up the contamination found at the former dry-cleaning facility. Please select the blue text below to view the meeting presentation.
The KDHE Bureau of Epidemiology and Public Health Informatics (BEPHI) is available to answer health-related questions. BEPHI completed an initial health study in the West Wichita Investigation 2015 (PDF) in October 2015 looking at rates of specific cancer and birth outcomes for the affected area. This health study did not find any increased rates of target cancers or birth defects for the area. KDHE is in the process of designing a more in-depth research study to look at additional health outcomes. The results of these studies 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.
For general additional information regarding the health impacts from exposure to the contaminants of concern associated with the former Four Seasons 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 Four Seasons 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.
For additional size 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 St.
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1367
Email Joseph 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 St.,
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1367
Email Farah Ahmed