Traces of benzene found in Jackson drinking water well

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JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Environmental officials have found traces of a volatile organic compound in a well that supplies drinking water to the town of Jackson.

A sample from a well in July showed benzene, a component of petroleum, at more than three times the level that triggers monitoring by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA didn't notify the town of the presence of benzene until Tuesday.

The EPA says regular consumption of water with high benzene levels can cause anemia and increase the risk of cancer. Town officials said Thursday that there's no reason for immediate concern about the water.

Jackson utility manager John Ryan says the benzene isn't at unsafe levels, but simply high enough for the EPA to require closer monitoring.