VOC’s or Volatile Organic Compounds are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at room temperature; they are naturally occurring compounds that vaporize at room temperature. Most VOC’s are dangerous to human health and to the environment.
VOC’s can be caused by paint, coatings, chlorocarbons (such as Tetrachloroethene which is used in dry cleaning), and MTBE. Unfortunately they are a lot more common than we would like to think. Some less dangerous ones are even found in your degreaser, polishes, and cosmetics. Certain VOC’s can be extremely dangerous if you are exposed for long periods of time. Risks range from eye, throat and nose irritation, to cancer in small animals or very young children.
VOC’s enter groundwater by careless industries illegally dumping waste, or leaking storage that enters the ground and makes its way to your water source.
If your well has tested positive for VOC’s you must immediately stop drinking and using that water. Begin to boil water, and drink bottled water until the problem has been resolved. Depending on the level and severity of the contaminants you can test and filter your water, or a new uncontaminated well may be needed.
Having your well tested on a regular basis, is a sure way to make sure there are no dangerous chemicals in your water. Also a preventative maintenance check is inexpensive and can insure that there are no other problems with your well.