DUNCAN — Halliburton has detected perchlorate contamination in 18 residential water wells near a site on the north side of Duncan where the company used to perform government contract work, the company announced Thursday.
“Halliburton has made arrangements to supply affected residents with bottled drinking water and, if needed, with a temporary water supply system, at no cost to the residents,” the company said in a news release. “Halliburton will continue providing these temporary solutions until a long-term solution can be implemented.”
Halliburton officials described perchlorate as a colorless salt that may cause adverse health effects — mainly with respect to the thyroid gland — at sufficiently high concentrations. The substance is not a carcinogen, the company said.
The contamination was discovered near Halliburton property along Osage Road, where Halliburton employees used to remove and burn spent missile fuel contained in missile casings under a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense, the company said.
Halliburton ceased such activities at the site in 1991, but believes they likely contributed to the contamination, company officials indicated.
Halliburton officials recently detected the contamination in water samples collected from the 18 wells as part of state Department of Environmental Quality requirements for ongoing closure activities at the property.
There is currently no legal limit for perchlorate in drinking water, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has begun the process of proposing a regulatory drinking water limit for the substance, Halliburton officials said.
“Halliburton will reimburse any potentially affected resident for the costs of health screenings they may seek,” the company said. “Halliburton will also continue to determine whether additional water wells in the area have perchlorate impacts. Duncan residents who are connected to and using municipal or rural water lines should not be affected by this issue.”
As part of an effort to keep affected residents informed, Halliburton and DEQ will host a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. July 19 at the Simmons Center, 800 Chisholm Trail Parkway, to discuss the contamination and answer questions.
Founded in Duncan in 1919, Halliburton is one of the world's largest providers of products and services to the oil and gas industry. The company has more than 60,000 employees in approximately 80 countries. Its U.S. corporate headquarters is now in Houston.