Wood preservatives such as pentachloraphenol and creosote are commonly used in poles, fences, decking, and railroad ties. When these items contaminate the soil, the contaminate often migrates into the groundwater, effecting off-site property.
These products can cause illness and are regulated by the EPA, local, and state departments of health. Specific Drinking Water Standards (DWS) have been established for each of these products. Contamination levels in excess of the DWS levels have been associated with injury and illness.