|San German Ground Water Contamination||San German, Puerto Rico|
The San German Ground Water Contamination site consists of a ground water plume with several potential sources of contamination. The site is located in the municipality of San German, Puerto Rico.
The San German Urbano public water system consists of seven wells and two surface water intakes serving an estimated population of 25,000 people. Industrial activity in the area has contributed to contamination of these wells, one of which was ordered closed by the Puerto Rico Department of Health (PRDOH) due to high levels of chemical solvents in the water. Other wells have shown lower levels of contamination during routine monitoring. Nearby manufacturing facilities are believed to be sources of the contamination.
The contaminants of concern are tetrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene (cis-1,2-DCE). These chemicals are solvents used in areas such as degreasing, industrial cleaning, and dry cleaning. The contaminants are believed to have adverse health effects when ingested or inhaled.
Potential Impacts on Surrounding Community/Environment:
The drinking water supply for San German relies on local water. The contaminated plume lies within a designated Wellhead Protection Area, indicating that the local groundwater is a necessary component of the municipal drinking water supply. One well has already been taken out of service due to contamination; other wells are showing levels of contamination that require monitoring in order to protect public health. With inclusion of this site on the National Priorities List, EPA will begin an investigation to determine the sources of contamination, and continue to monitor the drinking water supply for San German.
Response Activities (to date):
In January 2007, EPA initiated an investigation of three locations in San German which were identified as potential sources to the ground water plume. Surface and subsurface soil samples and ground water samples were collected from the ara. As a result of this effort, potential sources of the ground water plume have been identified. EPA will expand this investigation to further define the nature and extent of the contamination. The PRDOH has taken action to protect human health by monitoring the drinking water supply, and removing a contaminated well from the distribution system.
Need for NPL Listing:
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico referred the site to EPA because industrial solvents have contaminated the drinking water supply for San German. Other cleanup programs were evaluated but are not viable at this time. EPA received a letter of support for placing this site on the NPL from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
[The description of the site (release) is based on information available at the time the site was evaluated with the HRS. The description may change as additional information is gathered on the sources and extent of contamination. See 56 FR 5600, February 11, 1991, or subsequent FR notices.]
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.