|Raritan River to receive a pollution trench.|
Wyeth Holdings Corporation will dig a trench parallel to a section of the Raritan River so contaminated ground water will stop seeping into the river, according to this release from the Environmental Protection Agency.
This will be a second attempt to prevent highly contaminated metals and volatile organic compounds, such as benzene, chlorobenzene, ethylbenzene and xylene from migrating to the river. Previously, Wyeth installed an activated carbon system at the site as a temporary fix while a long term solution is assessed.
The contamination is from the American Cyanamid Superfund site in New Jersey's Somerset County. The contamination continued for about 100 years while various chemical manufacturing activities were carried out.
The Raritan River provides drinking water to millions of people in Central New Jersey, according to this report in MyCentralJersey.com. The Raritan River basin covers 1,100 square miles, has 100 municipalities, agricultural land, forested land and wetlands, and was largely rural until the 1980s, according to "Portrait of a Watershed," a technical reference on the basin. As of 2002 the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection had identified 980 contaminated sites in the watershed and 18 of those sites are close enough to community water wells to potentially contaminate their water.