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William Dick Lagoons

Information Update - April 1997

Update on the William Dick Lagoon Site
West Caln Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is conducting a Superfund cleanup of the William Dick Lagoon Site. The Superfund Program operates under the authority of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended (CERCLA). This update is intended to inform community members of progress made toward meeting the requirements of the Agency's 1991 and 1993 Records of Decision for remediation of the Site.


1950s - 1970
Waste liquids accepted at the site.
Lagoons ordered to close by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH).
EPA samples lagoon area and several surrounding wells. Site soils and 2 wells found to contain hazardous organic compounds.
Additional wells and spring-fed water supplies found contaminated.
EPA adds Site to National Priorities List.
EPA and CLTL enter into Consent Order. CLTL fenced Site and installed filter systems on home wells that exceeded Maximum Contaminant Levels.
CLTL agrees to perform Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study of the Site.
EPA signs Record of Decision to extend a public water supply line, pump and treat ground water, and conduct a hydrogeologic study to determine final ground water cleanup.
EPA signs Record of Decision to remediate soil and sludge using thermal desorption and soil vapor extraction and biodegradation.
EPA enters Consent Decree with CLTL requiring firm to design and implement 1991 and 1993 Records of Decision. CLTL is also required to reimburse EPA for work performed by the Agency, to pay EPA to construct a water line extension, and to pay a penalty for violating an EPA order.
EPA signs Explanation of Significant Difference allowing remediation of the underlying soil at the site using soil vapor extraction/biodegradation treatment.


The William Dick Lagoon Site (the Site) is located in West Caln Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, approximately 3.5 miles south-southeast of the Village of Honey Brook. The Site covers 4.4 acres within a 105-acre parcel of land lying south of Telegraph Road and west of Sandy Hill Road. About 2 acres of the Site were once covered by unlined waste water lagoons. The surrounding area is rural/residential. Several homes, which rely on ground water wells, lie within 1000 feet of the Site. Nearby farms raise food and fodder crops, as well as dairy cattle.

The Site was used from the 1950s until May 1970 to dispose rinse water used by Chemical Leaman Tank Lines (CLTL) to clean its tank trucks. CLTL was a transporter of petroleum products, latex, rhoplex, and resins. Small amounts of residual chemical products were, reportedly, also disposed in the onsite lagoons, on occasion. The contaminant of primary concern at the Site is trichloroethylene (TCE), a volatile organic compound frequently used for degreasing, dry cleaning, and refrigeration. The Pennsylvania Department of Health ordered that the lagoons be closed in 1970.


In its 1991 and 1993 Records of Decision (RODs), EPA determined that site remediation would be easiest if the cleanup was divided into distinct operable units (OUs). The operable units included:

In October 1995, EPA entered into a Consent Decree with CLTL directing the company to design and implement the ROD requirements. EPA recently approved CLTL's work plan for the pre-design hydrogeologic study needed for OU2. EPA's design of OU -1, the waterline, is also nearly completed.

Details of recent progress toward the completion of each operable unit are discussed below.

OU - 1 Waterline Extension - CLTL agreed to pay EPA $1.6 million to extend the City of Coatsville Authority's water line to homes that have been, or could potentially be, affected by contamination from the Site. The water line will extend along Sandy Hill Road between Woodlawn Drive and Telegraph Road and proceed west from Telegraph Road approximately three-quarters of a mile. EPA will offer home owners along the route of the extension an opportunity to connect to the water line at the Agency's expense. Homes on Hill Road in the vicinity of a planned water tower will also be offered an opportunity to connect to the line. The design of the water line is expected to be completed within the next few weeks, and EPA expects construction to start in Summer 1997. Construction is expected to take about ten months.

In addition to providing a safe permanent water supply, the water line can also be expected to:

It should be noted that, with some exceptions, Chester County Health Department requires property owners within 150 feet of a public water supply to close their supply wells and connect to the public water supply. Property owners interested in exemptions from this requirement should contact the Health Department.

OU-2 Hydrogeologic Study/Interim Ground Water Treatment - Under a Consent Decree issued by EPA, CLTL has agreed to conduct a hydrogeologic study and to use the results to design and implement an interim ground water treatment program that will be operated for five years. The effectiveness of the treatment system will then be evaluated, and a final plan for long-term ground water treatment will be identified.

EPA approved CLTL's hydrogeologic study work plan in late February 1997. The study requires the installation and testing of 22 monitoring wells and should be completed in about a year. Results of various tests which will be performed on the wells will be used, later, to design the 5-year interim treatment system.

OU-3 Onsite Treatment of Contaminated Soil - CLTL has agreed to design and implement a soil cleanup that will utilize a combination of thermal desorption and soil vapor extraction/biodegradation (SVE/BIO) treatment technologies.

The top soil and remaining lagoon sludge material, which are the most contaminated materials at the Site, will be cleaned using a thermal desorption process. Less-contaminated underlying soils will be cleaned using SVE/BIO treatment.

Thermal desorption is a process which uses heat to dry contaminated materials, such as soil and sludge. As the materials dry, contaminants are vaporized and become part of the gas stream of air moving through the desorber to a post-treatment system where the contaminants will be processed further.

Soil Vapor Extraction uses a network of vacuum wells to continuously pull air through the contaminated soil. As the air flows through the soil it causes contaminants to vaporize and separate from the soil particles. The contaminants are then pulled by the vacuum system into a collection or treatment unit.

Bioremediation uses indigenous microorganisms to degrade chemicals in the soil. The air being pulled through the soil by the SVE unit stimulates bacterial growth, speeding the degradation process. Nutrients may also be added to the soil to further enhance biodegradation.

Using the SVE/BIO process, CLTL must achieve the cleanup standard specified for the underlying soil within 18 months. If the cleanup standards can not be met within this time, thermal desorption will be used to achieve the appropriate cleanup level.

EPA has been unable to approve design proposals for the soil cleanup system submitted by CLTL. However, CLTL submitted a revised proposal to EPA in late March 1997, and it is currently in review. If EPA approves the design plan, the soil cleanup design should be completed within about one year. The actual cleanup activity should be completed in about three years following the approval of the design.


Additional information about the William Dick Lagoon Site is available at:

West Caln Township Building
Route 340 West (Kings Hwy.)
Wagontown, Pennsylvania

Information is also available at:

Superfund Records Center 1
650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029

Interested parties may also contact:

Community Involvement Coordinator
Carrie Deitzel
215/814-5525 or 1-800/553-2509

Remedial Project Manager
Patrick McManus


EPA will hold an availability session to allow community members an opportunity to speak with EPA representatives and other technical experts about the Site cleanup. The availability session will be held at:

Kings Highway Elementary School
841 West Kings Highway
West Caln Township, PA 19320
3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
May 6, 1997

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