Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Prohibition of New Wells Urged in Nebraska Town To Minimize Contamination Spread

By Duane Craig

Grand Island Nebraska well contamination.
The Environmental Protection Agency is asking Grand Island, Nebraska, to prohibit new private water wells from North Road to the Hagge Subdivision to help prevent spreading contamination from two underground plumes of industrial solvents. EPA also wants any new high pressure wells used for dewatering the high water table in the area, or for irrigation, to have an approval process put in place that will require hydologic surveys to determine how those wells will affect the contaminated area.

Two former industrial operations there make up the Parkview Superfund site with its two plumes of contamination. The first plume originates at a site where combines were manufactured by CNH and it has spread from the factory location toward the Parkview and Hagge Subdivisions. The other plume came from Heinzman Engineering, an irrigation company, and it spread through the Mary Lane and Kentish Hills Subdivision and finally merged with the first plume.

The prohibition and regulation of new wells is the final step in remediation. Ongoing actions include injecting chemicals into the ground to break up contamination in one plume while a pump and treat facility has been busily removing and cleaning 2 million gallons of water a day. The system extracts the tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and releases it as vapors. That operation is supposed to go on for another 10 years.

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