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NPL Site Narrative for Palermo Well Field Ground Water Contamination

Tumwater, Washington

Federal Register Notice:  April 01, 1997 (PDF) (22 pp, 326K, About PDF)

Conditions at Proposal (December 1996): The Palermo Well Field Ground Water Contamination site is located in a light commercial and residential area in Tumwater, Washington. The site is surrounded by single family dwellings, private businesses, and recreational facilities (i.e., an athletic club and golf course).

The Palermo Well Field consists of six water supply wells that provide up to 50% of the drinking water for the City of Tumwater. Routine sampling in August 1993 revealed the presence of trichloroethylene (TCE) in three of the six wells at 3, 3, and 15 parts per billion (ppb). The impacted wells were removed from service and replaced with two new wells at another location.

In Fall 1994, EPA conducted a Phase I Expanded Site Inspection to identify potential sources of contamination to the well field. Four upgradient facilities were identified as potential sources of TCE contamination. In addition, another contaminant, tetrachloroethylene (PCE), was detected in soil and ground water at one of the potential sources identified. In July through September 1995, EPA conducted a Phase II investigation to further evaluate the potential sources and to install a monitoring well network to monitor TCE and PCE migration. Monitoring results indicate that the PCE contaminant plume is moving toward the well field. A surface water sample collected from a residential backyard revealed the presence of TCE at 29 ppb and PCE at 43 ppb.

EPA, the City of Tumwater, and the Washington Department of Ecology are considering various alternatives for the site.

Status (April 1997): EPA is currently assessing the feasibility of cleaning up ground water contamination at the site through a removal action. Depending on the outcome of this assessment, EPA may proceed with an initial cleanup this Spring and may also begin a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) this Summer. The RI/FS is expected to take up to two years to complete.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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