Radioactive Water

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

There's a published report that two former utility administrators in Pensacola knew that drinking water was radioactive but kept it secret from the public for more than four years.

About 10,000 people served by the Escambia County Utilities Authority in Pensacola and Gulf Breeze drank radioactive water while the administrators stalled removal efforts.

The newspaper story (the Pensacola News Journal) said today that documents show unsafe levels of radium 226 and 228 had been detected in 1996 but not removed until 2000.

That's when the state Department of Environmental Protection fined the utility.

A.E. Van Dever, Jr. was fired last year. He is now utilities director for Lake Worth in Palm Beach County.

The other official is now retired. He's Bernie Dahl, who now lives in Oklahoma.

The Escambia County Health Department says people who drank the tainted water could develop cancer years from now.


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