2/15/2013 8:00:00 AM Torx area residents now have city water
BY JONATHAN KLEYER Staff Writer, The Sentinel
South Richland Conservancy District residents are now using their water system.
The $1.73 million system was installed so they would have clean drinking water. They were forced off groundwater because of a plume of polluted groundwater near Acument Global Technologies.
The plume, discovered in 2008, contains Trichloroethelene, a carcinogen, and two of its harmful breakdown chemicals, cis-1-2-dichloroethene and vinyl chloride.
Textron Inc. owned the plant at 4366 N. U.S. 31 from 1954 until 2006. It has taken responsibility for the pollution and is paying for the construction of the conservancy's water distribution system from Dean Foods Company, where the city main line ends, to the homes.
The system is operating, with substantial completion expected in the spring, according to Greg Myroth, of AMEC engineering consulting.
Remaining work is just landscaping, such as reseeding lawns, Myroth reported in a conservancy district meeting Wednesday.
Conservancy district residents said during the meeting their water has a chlorine taste, and they sometimes have lower water pressure than desired.
Rich Martin, district operator, said the water has consistently tested within acceptable levels for chlorine, which is added to public water as a disinfectant.
"It's such a low level, it's been proven and documented that it isn't a health risk," Martin said. "It's within accepted levels."
Myroth said he would talk to the city water utility office to see if there is anything out of the ordinary.
Martin reported the first meter reading was performed Feb. 1, but city water use data was collected along with the district's, so he will have to go to each property and get individual meter identification numbers to figure out water use.
"It downloaded so much other stuff ... we've got the data, we just don't know where South Richland's at," he said.
Paul Stork, AMEC, said remedial testing of the polluted groundwater plume is ongoing. From October through December, 58 new testing sites were drilled. Groundwater was tested Nov. 2, and biostimulants were injected Dec. 8. Biostimulants are meant to speed the breakdown of harmful chemicals.
Stork reported there has been a decrease in the trichloroethelene level in the groundwater. The concentration of trichloroethelene's breakdown components, 2-dichloroethene and vinyl chloride, are rising.
He said it's impossible to predict at this time when cleanup will be complete.
"The results we're seeing right now are pretty much exactly what we expected," Stork commented. "We're in a performance monitoring stage here."
For now, Stork expects to have a cleanup work plan ready to submit to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management by June, with full-scale remediation efforts starting in September.
Also Wednesday, the district elected officers. Joe Hunting was reelected president, Jamie Schiff treasurer and Doug Garvison was reappointed a board member.