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New Water Main to Provide Clean Water to Residents and Businesses at Durham Meadows Superfund Site in Connecticut

09/17/2019
Contact Information: 
John Senn (senn.john@epa.gov)
(617) 918-1019

DURHAM, CONN. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing today that construction has started on installation of a new water line to provide clean drinking water to the residences and businesses within the Durham Meadows Superfund Site. The new water line will deliver water from the City of Middletown's public drinking water supply and is the product of many years of partnership among EPA, the Town of Durham, City of Middletown, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CTDEEP), and the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CTDPH).

"This new water line will deliver clean drinking water to the residents and businesses of Durham that are within the Durham Meadows Superfund Site," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel. "This project is the result of many years of hard work and partnership by federal, state and local partners and reflects a commitment to clean up this site while protecting public health."

"This event is the result of a significant amount of hard work and planning by many, including representatives from the EPA, USACE, CTDEEP, CTDOH, City of Middletown and Town of Durham," said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District Commander Col. William Conde.  "The project team now has just under 30,000 feet of pipe to put in the ground and a 800,000 gallon water storage tank to build. They are happy that the project is underway and we all look forward to providing clean water to the residents impacted by this Superfund Site."

"Safe potable water from Middletown's public system is finally coming to the residents and businesses of Durham Center. This project also results in a multi-million dollar investment in upgrades to the Middletown system. It is a definitely a win-win for Durham, Middletown and Connecticut," said DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes.
 
Nearly six miles of water line—about 30,000 linear feet—will be installed to allow connection of 120 local homes and businesses, including the Coginchaug High School, Strong Middle School and the Durham Fairgrounds, to the Middletown water system. EPA expects the project to be completed in 2022. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing the construction of the new water line.

The Durham Meadows Superfund site includes historic Main Street in Durham center and contains industrial and residential properties. The site is centered around Durham Manufacturing Company and the former location of Merriam Manufacturing Company. During their respective operating histories, both companies used various chlorinated solvents, most-notably trichloroethene (TCE). The companies' past disposal practices contributed to the contamination at each facility and groundwater surrounding both facilities. The major contaminant at the Site is TCE, which continues to be detected in groundwater at concentrations as high as 1,400 parts per billion. To date, 50 private wells serving 54 locations have been found to be contaminated thus requiring the installation of carbon treatment systems as a temporary solution.

EPA and CTDEEP have been working to address the contamination at the Durham Meadows Superfund Site since 1989. EPA developed a cleanup plan in 2005 to address all of the contamination at the Site.   Since then, EPA has completed the cleanup of the soil at the former Merriam Manufacturing Company and has also completed the design for the cleanup of the soil at the Durham Manufacturing Company.  In 2015, as part of the cleanup plan, the Town of Durham established a groundwater ordinance to restrict the future use of groundwater within the Durham Meadows Superfund Site. From 2006 to 2018, multiple studies were performed to identify the best source of clean water for Durham, verify that the City of Middletown water supply can support the additional water demand, and develop the design details for the water line, water storage tank, and water service connections.

For more information on the Durham Meadows Superfund site, visit www.epa.gov/superfund/durham.