Jump to main content.


Congressional District # 18


EPA ID# OHD980794598
Last Updated: February, 2015

Site Description

The Zanesville Well Field Superfund Site is located on the east and west banks of the Muskingum River in the center of the City of Zanesville, Ohio. On the east bank of the river, the site contains only the southern portion of the Zanesville Municipal Well Fields (ZMWF). The portion of the site directly across the river on the west bank is the former UTA (United Technologies Automotive) facility, the source of the contamination. The UTA facility and grounds cover an area approximately 28 acres between the river and Linden Avenue, and residences are located in close proximity to the UTA facility. Groundwater flowing beneath the river connects the two portions of the site.

The property on the west side of the bank has been used for manufacturing purposes since 1893, when American Encaustic Tiling Company, a ceramic products manufacturer, constructed the original buildings. Several companies have owned the west bank property. In 1974, UTA acquired Essex Corporation and operated at the site until 1991, when ownership was transferred to the Lear Corporation. In late 2008, Pelican Land Holdings, LLC, purchased the parcel from the Lear Corporation. Throughout the history of property transfer, UTA retained the liability for the Zanesville Well Field Superfund Site and UTA is now referred to as United Technologies Corporation (UTC).

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through federal, state, and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions.

Threats and Contaminants

Due to the long history and varied usage of the site, many details of past waste storage and disposal practices are not available. However, it has been established that during American Encaustic's ownership of the site, a dug well 10 feet in diameter and 40 feet deep was installed. Over the years the dug well fell into disuse, and in the early 1970s the well was backfilled. Rubble from the demolition of a building and up to 121 drums containing trichloroethylene (TCE) solvents were placed inside the well. The abandoned well was approximately 900 feet west of the river and directly across the river from the southern portion of the ZMWF.

Evidence of TCE contamination at the ZMWF was first observed in July 1981, during a random spot check for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). At that time, TCE was detected in the plant tap at the water treatment plant. Three wells in the southern end of the well field were found to be contaminated with TCE and 1,2-dichloroethylene (DCE). The southern portion of the ZMWF is currently not being used as a source of water.

The groundwater and soil contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The soil also contains some heavy metals.  In September 1983, U.S. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL).

Cleanup Progress

In July 1983, UTA installed a groundwater extraction and treatment system at the site consisting of four groundwater extraction wells and an air stripper as an Interim Remedial Measure (IRM) to address impacted groundwater. At the same time, UTA removed approximately 121 drums and contaminated debris from the old well and closed it.

In August 1988, U.S. EPA, Ohio EPA and UTA entered into an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) to perform a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS). The RI was completed in September 1990 and the FS Report was approved in July 1991. U.S. EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the site on September 30, 1991, documenting the selected remedial actions for the site. The major components of the cleanup plan selected in the 1991 ROD included the following:

UTA submitted a remedial design work plan, conducted a series of pre-design studies (including groundwater and soil sampling, pilot tests, and contaminant transport modeling), and prepared the remedial design for the site cleanup. The final design was approved and construction commenced in October 1995.  As part of the cleanup, contaminated soil was excavated and disposed off-site, and confirmation soil samples indicated that the inorganic soil cleanup critiera had been achieved. The actual volume of soil excavated to achieve the inorganic soil cleanup criteria was approximately 1,880 cubic yards.  UTA’s pre-design studies confirmed that the only VOC source areas at the site were the Drum Storage Area and the northeast corner of the main building. As a result, a shallow SVE system was designed to focus on these source areas.  In addition, a deep SVE system was designed to provide soil vapor extraction from the area of suspected deeper-zone impacted soil. Although not required in the ROD, UTA proposed air sparging (AS), the process of injecting contaminant-free air into the soil, as an enhancement to the required SVE system. A total of 16 soil vapor extraction wells, five nested air sparging wells, 5,500 linear feet of conveyance piping and the AS/SVE equipment and equipment enclosure were constructed as described in the final design.  The groundwater remediation system design was based on the results of groundwater modeling, groundwater sampling and analysis, the historical performance of the interim groundwater extraction and treatment system, and the results of the AS/SVE pilot test that was performed. The groundwater remediation system is expected to achieve the cleanup standards specified in the ROD.

U.S. EPA completed five-year reviews for the site in 2001 and 2006.  The purpose of a five-year review is to determine whether the remedy at a site is protective of human health and the environment. The 2006 five-year review found a trend that contaminants are decreasing in a majority of wells.  However the 2006 five-year review deferred making a protectiveness determination for the site until remedy enhancements and additional studies were performed.  The third five-year review was done in May 2011 after these enhancements and studies were completed.  That review determined the remedy at the site to be protective of human health and the environment.  An Explanation of Significant Differences, another follow up item from the 2006 five-year review, was completed in September 2010.  Monitoring data continue to show decreasing trends of contamination at the site.  EPA plans to complete the next five-year review in 2016.

A copy of the full report and the Five Year Reviews is available at http://www.epa.gov/region5/sites/zanesvillewell/index.html

Property Reuse

Businesses have moved into some non-contaminated areas and buildings of the site property.  The current site property owner has been working on re-developing most of the site property to make it available to additional businesses.  The building and site are zoned for commercial and industrial use. 


Remedial Project Manager, U.S. EPA
john fagiolo (fagiolo.john@epa.gov)
(312) 886-0800

Community Involvement Coordinator, U.S. EPA
virginia narsete
(312) 886-4359

Site Profile Information

This profile provides you with information on EPA's cleanup progress at this Superfund site.


Local Navigation

Jump to main content.