HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A northwest Harris County neighborhood has been flagged by the Environmental Protection Agency and put on high alert.
They're being told to get off well water or put themselves and their families at risk of contaminants from a nearby superfund site. We're talking about the Jones Road superfund site, which has housed toxins for decades.
Even with a bird's-eye view from SkyEye13, you would never know something was wrong with this commercial and residential area on Jones Road near Forest Valley Drive. But there is.
RELATED: New EPA report reveals Jones Road Superfund remedy 'not protective'
"It's been a superfund site for about two decades, and it's still a very real and serious threat to the surrounding area," Jackie Medcalf, the executive director for Texas Health and Environment Alliance, said.
According to the U.S. EPA, a dry cleaning company dumped toxic solvents out the back of its business from the 1980s all the way to 2002. That action created a dangerous underground plume that traveled westward across Jones Road, under Ace Hardware, and onto the neighborhood behind it. In 2003, the area was deemed a superfund - which is an abandoned toxic waste site that presents an imminent threat to public health.
"Out of all the superfund sites across our country, this site was deemed not protective of the local community's health. That's a huge deal," Medcalf continued.
Businesses in the Cypress Centre strip center switched to a city water line around 2008, and have monthly tests done by the government.
"The talking of this has caused me to have less business because people are thinking, 'Oh my gosh, they're on groundwater.' And we're going to hurt the dog. We're going to hurt them. We're fine here. Everything is fine here," Tammy Kubicek, owner of Four Paws Dig It, said.
SEE ALSO: Environmental advocates call on EPA to speed up cleaning process at toxic site in northwest Houston
There's a soil vapor extraction system east of the strip center, and allegedly a long-term plan to clean up the site, but right now, the EPA says neighbors still on well water need to get off. It's a warning Edgewood homeowner Andrew Pritham says may go ignored. He switched to city water 10 years ago but thinks some of his neighbors won't follow suit.
"There's people who will not give up their wells, regardless. Nothing. Unless it was pumping oil or something," he explained.
Texas Health and Environmental Alliance, or THEA, is begging people to listen to the EPA and says the underground toxins can have lasting, dangerous effects on your health, and the environment.
"Long-term, there's still a solution for the contaminated groundwater, and until all the local wells in the area are plugged, they're not going to be able to control the plume and get this cleaned up once and for all," Medcalf said.
The dry cleaner that caused this went bankrupt decades ago, and the government was only able to recoup $100,000 in damages from them, despite having to spend millions to try and clean this up.
For more on this story, follow Erica Simon on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.