Town Square

More toxic sites linked to leaky sewers

Original post made on Jan 4, 2014

It's long been a mystery as to how high levels of dangerous trichloroethylene (TCE) were found in the Silva family's well on Sherland Avenue in the 1970s, but now there's a new explanation.

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Posted by Steven Nelson
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 4, 2014 at 8:26 am

Daniel and the MV Voice. This is another excellent (IMO) article on this continuing community legacy problem. It's important. It's good journalism. It's informative. I especially liked the detailed and easy-to-understand maps (paper edition) showing the outlines of the problem areas. I'm a visual learner - I understand more by 'crude' maps [ :) Nick ] than a paragraph or two of words! This helps me (as a school Trustee) see how close the problems are to the Whisman School site, and if it will be a public policy problem for MVWSD.

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Posted by cgsnyder
a resident of another community
on Jan 4, 2014 at 3:30 pm

cgsnyder is a registered user.

TCE is not the only hazardous chemical that ends up in sewage pipes. Every entity connected to a sewer is permitted to discharge any amount of hazardous or acute hazardous waste, as long as the discharging industry complies with a one-time annual notification requirement. For a partial list of hazardous wastes that end up in sewage treatment plants and after processing, in land-applied sludges, see

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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 8, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Is anybody looking for cancer clusters or cases of polycythemia vera or other TCE-related illnesses here?

That would be interesting.

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Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jan 10, 2014 at 5:55 am

A very simple medical survey could easily determine to what extent this TCE plume is affecting residents of Mountain View. Miscarriages, non-genetic birth defects, leukemia, breast cancer, and non-genetic polycythemia vera are all linked to exposure.

Unlike the highly unscientific catalog of supposed adverse health effects from second-hand cigarette smoke, the health threat from TCE exposure is unsubtle and eminently verifiable.

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Posted by alice s.
a resident of another community
on Mar 17, 2014 at 8:39 am

to old ben
my daughter lives on sherland and is having difficulty gathering more info and is at a stand-off with the EPA. there are too many instances of cancer, i.e. non-hodgkins, leukemia, breast cancer in that area. serious instances and death in a cluster there.