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Alamo Contaminated Ground Water

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Municipal water supply well

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: TNN000410203
Location: Alamo, Crockett County, TN
Lat/Long: 35.77665, -089.11696
Congressional District: 08
NPL Status: Proposed: 03/10/11; Final: 09/16/11 
Affected Media: Ground water
Cleanup Status: Study Not Begun
Human Exposure Under Control: EPA is working to determine
Groundwater Migration Under Control: There is insufficient data to determine
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: No
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: Not in use
Site Manager: John Nolen (nolen.john@epa.gov)


Current Status

The Alamo Contaminated Ground Water site includes an area of contaminated ground water potentially resulting from various operations in the community’s downtown business district. The contamination has affected two public water supply wells. Other private wells and county utility district wells are located within a mile of the known affected area. Since 1991, the City of Alamo has treated water from public wells through a process known as air stripping. Water in the public water supply system meets all federal drinking water standards. The public water supply is available to all city residents and businesses.

In 2010, the Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation (TDEC) installed 14 monitoring wells in the known area of affected ground water. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 2011 with support from TDEC. EPA is preparing to conduct an extensive investigation to fully assess site-related threats to people living near the site and the environment and to evaluate cleanup options.

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Site Location and Background

The site is located in Alamo, Tennessee, about 10 miles northwest of Jackson. The site includes an area of contaminated ground water located mostly in commercial areas of the city’s downtown business district. EPA is working to determine how far the contaminated ground water has spread.

In 1988, ground water samples taken from two of the city’s four public water supply wells revealed volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including tetrachloroethene (also known and PCE or PERC) and trichloroethene (TCE). Levels of these VOCs were above federal drinking water standards. EPA and state follow-up investigations discovered multiple potential sources of VOC contamination in the area. Other private wells and county utility district wells are located within a mile of the known affected area. The contaminated ground water is located within the Memphis Sands Aquifer, the primary source of drinking water for this area of Tennessee. 

One potential source, Volunteer Circuits, manufactured printed circuit boards for the electronics industry from 1973 until 1975. Other suspected sources of contamination include dry cleaning facilities.

The State of Tennessee referred the site to EPA because contaminated ground water has impacted the city’s public drinking water wells and because parties do not yet know the size of the affected ground water area. In 2011, EPA listed the site on the NPL.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

EPA and TDEC conducted multiple investigations from 1992 until 2008. Investigations found VOCs, including TCE, PCE, dichloroethene and 1,1,1 trichloroethane, in several ground water monitoring wells and the city's municipal wells that could potentially harm people in the area.

Since 1991, the city has treated water from local public wells through a process known as air stripping. Water in the public water supply system meets all federal drinking water standards. The public water supply is available to all city residents and businesses. Unless parties address the contaminated ground water, the City of Alamo will have to treat its well water continually prior to distributing it to the public.

In 2010, TDEC installed 14 monitoring wells in the known area of affected ground water.

EPA has determined that vapor intrusion is not a threat at the site.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

EPA leads site investigation and cleanup activities in cooperation with TDEC.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 2012, EPA began the site’s remedial investigation/feasibility study. After completing the study, EPA will issue a proposed cleanup plan to address any contamination and related risk to people and the environment. After receiving input from TDEC and the community, EPA will issue the final cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD).

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Cleanup Progress

After issuing the site cleanup plan (the ROD), EPA will begin preparations to carry out the approved cleanup activities.

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Enforcement Activities

EPA continues to evaluate enforcement options. EPA is currently using federal funds to pay for site investigation activities.

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Community Involvement

EPA is working with the community and its state partner to develop a long-term cleanup plan for the site, reflecting the Agency’s commitment to safe, healthy communities and environmental protection. Community engagement and public outreach are core components of EPA program activities.

EPA is planning to conduct a range of community involvement activities to solicit community input and to make sure the public remains informed about site activities throughout the cleanup process. Outreach efforts will include public notices and public meetings.

In March 2011, EPA hosted a public meeting at the Gibson Electric Corporation office in Alamo to discuss the proposed listing of the site on the NPL.

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Future Work

In 2012, EPA began the site’s remedial investigation/feasibility study.

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Additional Information

EPA keeps additional site documents and information in a site information repository at the location below. EPA also posts site documents, when available, on EPA’s CERCLIS Site Profile page. For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.

Site Repository

EPA has not yet established a site repository for the site.

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