More test wells planned for Carrs Mill Landfill Contaminants leaking into creek

June 17, 1993|By Sherry Joe | Sherry Joe,Staff Writer

County officials plan to more closely monitor the closed Carrs Mill Landfill by installing several new test wells near it.

Since 1991, county and state health authorities have tested 10 residential wells nearby for traces of a solvent that is leaking from the landfill into a branch of Cattail Creek. They expect to install four to six test wells in the next two months.

The chemical, trichloroethylene (TCE), is a suspected carcinogen; it has not contaminated drinking water near the landfill, officials said.

The chlorinated solvent and one other contaminant also have been found in a monitoring well along the Carrs Mill boundary of the former landfill near Lisbon.

County officials hope the new wells will help determine the spread of the chemicals. The most recent residential well test was completed in February, said Frank Skinner, director of the Environmental Health Bureau.

Health officials have found five to seven parts per billion of TCE in the creek, near Bushy Park and Carrs Mill roads. But the chemical evaporates quickly from the waterway, long before reaching Triadelphia Reservoir.

Under guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency, five

parts per billion of TCE is the maximum level considered safe for drinking water.

"We need to get a better definition of what the contamination level is," said John O'Hara, chief of the public works department's Bureau of Environmental Services. "It's too premature to tell what the extent is."

The former landfill has two monitoring wells along its perimeters.

"The purpose of the wells is to monitor the ground water along the boundary of the landfill property," Mr. O'Hara said.

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