Galloway residents facing health threats from contaminated ground water around a township Superfund site can expect relief, with finalization of a federal plan to install approximately 14 new drinking water wells.

woman holding glass at water tap and filling water.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued notice of forward movement in the plan for homes near Emmell's Septic Landfill, which was the subject of an August 3 public meeting and a subsequent 30-day public comment period.

"EPA is on the job and we will work to ensure that these residences have a permanent supply of clean drinking water," said Catherine McCabe, Acting Regional Administrator. "By finalizing this plan, EPA can now address the threat posed by the contaminated groundwater at this site."

Groundwater in the vicinity of the site contains volatile organic compounds that potentially pose threats of liver or nerve damage, or increased cancer risks.

The plan amends a 2008 directive regarding ongoing groundwater extraction and treatment. The wells will draw from deeper sources, about 350 feet below the surface.where groundwater is clean. Wells that are impacted or at risk will be deactivated.

The agency estimates that the project will cost about $1,000,000. Long-term groundwater monitoring will continue, to ensure the cleanup's effectiveness, officials said.

According to EPA, the landfill operated from 1967 to 1979, for disposal of septic waste and sewage sludge, and was also the site where chemicals were illegally dumped. EPA removed some 28,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil, 11 compressed gas cylinders and hundreds of drums in 1999 and 2000.


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