© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
KTXI 90.1 FM is currently on low power after equipment at our transmitter site suffered winter storm damage.

How Wildfires Are Contaminating The Water Supply With Benzene, Other Hazardous Chemicals

The I-90 bridge over Lake Washington disappears through heavy smoke from wildfires on Sept. 11, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
The I-90 bridge over Lake Washington disappears through heavy smoke from wildfires on Sept. 11, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

We talk to Andrew Whelton, an associate professor of civil engineering at Purdue University, about how current wildfires in the West are likely impacting the water supply.

After the Tubbs Fire in 2017, residents began to smell an odor in their water that turned out to be the carcinogen benzene, prompting some of the first research into this new phenomenon.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.