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Arsenic discovery shuts down Yomitan agricultural water

Date Posted: 2008-11-14

An agricultural water well in Yomitan Village has been put out of service following discovery the well’s water contains at least 24 times the permissible amount of arsenic.

Officials made the announcement describing testing conducted more than a year ago, but only now made public, that the well in the Yomitan Sobe area used for vegetable agricultural fields and garden flower plots and trees is dangerous.

Yasuo Ikehara, Chairman of the Sobe Koushibaru Area Water Association says “the ground water’s color has changed to a little brown, and some smell has come out over the past couple years. Before that, there was no color and no smell.”

The well was organized by the Sobe Koushibaru Water Association, which says the numbers were normal when tested in 2006, but radically changed in May 2007. Yomitan Village is asking Tokyo to send inspectors from a civilian inspection institution to double check its findings, and figure out where and how the polluted waters are happening.

The water, used only for agricultural purposes, tested and showed arsenic levels 120 times higher than allowed in drinking water used by humans. A company operating an industrial waste final treatment center near the well is being checked to see if pollution violations have come from the plant.

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