TCE test results are in from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- In Nov., Fantastic Caverns announced they found extremely high amounts of trichloroethylene (TCE) in parts of the cave. Many homeowners who live near Fantastic Caverns had their well water tested by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Wednesday afternoon, KY3/ KSPR learned the results of those private well water tests. DNR tested 146 private wells, three wells tested positive for TCE above the maximum contamination level (5ppb) and 30 tested positive for TCE below the maximum contamination level.

Those with DNR say the problem traces back to the former Litton's facility on Kearney St. They manufactured circuit boards for years. Officials say the facility generated "wastes containing metals, predominantly copper, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), predominantly trichloroethylene (TCE)."

"I live decently close," Chance Coffer, local resident said.

Coffer and his family live just a few miles away from the former Litton's facility.

"I mean you still kind of worry what is in your well water anyway," Coffer said.

KY3/ KSPR asked Tom Aley, hydrogeologist, what the DNR test result findings mean for the community. He believes the water and air quality in the area is compromised.

"That is of concern," Aley said. "Water has to flow downhill but the air has a direction of movement that is controlled by differences in underground temperature and surface temperature. In the winter, the TCE moves towards higher elevation areas. That is where the majority of the people living in the impacted area live."

Aley believes progress will not be made until the former Litton's site is cleaned up.

"Cleaning up TCE and getting rid of all of it is difficult and expensive," Aley said. "That does not mean it cannot be done and certainly does not mean that it should not be done."

The Northrop Grumman Corporation now owns the former Litton's site. They did provide bottled water and installed a carbon filtration system for those homes with levels higher than the maximum contamination level.

The DNR says they are now primarily focusing on follow up testing within the initial area.

For more information from the DNR, click here.