Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hewlett Water Contamination Cleanup Set to Begin

By: Duane Craig

A mysterious plume of groundwater contamination is getting the cleanup go-ahead, according to this article in The Five Towns Patch. The Peninsula Boulevard Groundwater Plume describes a Superfund site in Hewlett, N.Y. that doesn't have a named source.

Early in the investigation, it was thought the former Grove Cleaners was responsible, but that was ruled out, according to the Environmental Protection Agency report. The contaminant is tetrachloroethylene, or PCE, and the contaminated groundwater flows toward a drinking water source called the Long Island American Water Plant 5 Well Field. Beginning in 1991, that well water has been treated with a packed power aeration system, or air stripper. The site was proposed for and listed with Superfund status in 2004.

Contamination Clean up begins in Hewlett, N.Y.

There is a school nearby but vapor intrusion tests have shown no problems there. The agency also sampled nearby building slabs with the plan to install remediation systems if vapor intrusion was detected.

The cleanup plan is to drill wells allowing the solvent to flow into them. Pumps will extract the water and send it through a treatment process before retiring it to the ground. The cleanup process may take 15 years or more. PCE easily evaporates into air where people can be affected by breathing it. It is considered a carcinogen.

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