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Vega Alta Public Supply Wells
Vega Alta, PR

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

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EPA added the Vega Alta Public Supply Wells site in Vega Alta, Puerto Rico to the Superfund National Priorities List on September 1, 1984 because hazardous chemicals were found in the soil and ground water. The 50 acre superfund site consists of approximately six inactive and 15 active wells. The Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) has been responsible for operating and maintaining the public water supply system. The U.S. Geological Survey sampled the wells and surrounding areas and found volatile organic compounds (VOCs), potentially harmful contaminants that can easily evaporate into the air, in the ground water and soil. PRASA shut down multiple contaminated wells because they were not in compliance with drinking water standards. Affected residents were hooked up to a new distribution system. In 1984, ground water treatment equipment was installed at one of the contaminated wells.

EPA selected two cleanup plans to address the site’s ground water and the soil contamination. In September 1997, a cleanup alternative was signed to address the remaining source of contamination in order to avoid further migration of contaminants to the ground water. A Soil Vapor Extraction System, which acts as a vacuum to absorb vapors from the soil, was selected as the remedial alternative for the cleanup of the contaminated soil. Field activities for the installation of the ground water treatment system were initiated in April 2001and completed in December 2001. The source area ground water extraction and treatment system has been operating continuously since December 2002. Approximately 20 million gallons of water are treated each month. Under current conditions at this site, potential or actual human exposures are under control.


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