Thank goodness for routine drinking water testing? The NYC's Department of Environmental Protection found higher-than-usual (and higher than what's safe) amounts of tetrachloroethylene, commonly known as PERC, in the drinking water of southeastern Queens. DEP investigators believe that the chemical might have seeped in from an auto-body repair shop or dry cleaners, because it's commonly used as a degreaser and cleaning agent. The agency is looking for the source.
The affected areas include St. Albans, Queens Village, Cambria Heights, Hollis, and Jamaica. The DEP found 13 parts of PERC per billion; current standards say PERC should not exceed 5 parts per billion.
The DEP says that no long-term health problems are expected, but suggests that "people who are still concerned may wish to use bottled water for drinking, cooking, and preparing infant formula and taking shorter showers or baths until the source of contamination is found and resolved." The DEP also has a resource center at Springfield Boulevard between 110th and 112th Avenues to answer questions. Sigh, poor Queens can never catch a break.