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San Germán Ground Water Contamination Site
San Germán, Puerto Rico

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Public Meeting

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Contact Information

Brenda Reyes (787) 977-5869
reyes.brenda@epa.gov

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EPA added the San Germán Ground Water Contamination site, located in the municipality of San Germán, Puerto Rico, to the National Priorities List (NPL) on March 19, 2008 because organic chlorinated solvents were found in ground water that supplies drinking water for local residents. The site consists of a ground water plume with no identified source of contamination, but the main contaminants of concern are tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE), which are solvents used in degreasing, industrial cleaning, and dry cleaning. Manufacturing facilities and various industrial activities in the area potentially have contributed to the contamination.

The drinking water supply for San Germán consists of seven ground water wells and two surface water intakes. During the period 2001 to 2005, the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) reported that organic chlorinated solvents were detected in three wells that, as of 2005, served an estimated population of 2,280 people. On January 17, 2006, the Puerto Rico Department of Health (PRDOH) ordered PRASA to close one well because its organic solvent concentration exceeded the federally permissible standard for drinking water. During July 2006, EPA conducted an inspection at 44 sites within San Germán to identify potential hazardous waste sources. However, EPA has not yet identified the party (or parties) potentially responsible for contamination.


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