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Residents near Valmont-TCE Superfund Site advised to temporarily not use well water for watering, cleaning

Release Date: 07/31/2009
Contact Information: Roy Seneca, 215-814-5567

PHILADELPHIA (July 31, 2009) – As a precautionary measure, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is advising residents living on or near the Valmont TCE Superfund site in West Hazelton, Pa. to temporarily avoid using well water for any purposes while cleanup work continues at the site through September.

Although use of private wells in the area for potable water is prohibited, some residents continue to use well water for activities like watering lawns and washing cars. In an effort to clean up TCE contamination in groundwater at the site, EPA plans to use recently drilled injection wells to begin injecting a potassium permanganate solution slurry into selected bedrock zones.

EPA officials believe there is a minor possibility that the solution could migrate into old private wells and sump pumps during the injection process. Therefore, residents are advised to stop using private wells for any purposes during the work period and also to avoid any contact with water being discharged from sump pumps. Work is scheduled to begin the week of Aug. 10 and continue through September.

Concentrations of the potassium permanganate are expected to be low. However, the water could cause staining of clothing and plumbing fixtures. At higher concentrations, the chemical is an irritant and should be avoided.

The EPA is distributing a fact sheet to residents explaining the work and directing them to not use the well water. For more information on the Valmont TCE site, residents can visit on the Internet or contact community involvement coordinator William Hudson at (215) 814-5532 or via email at .