South Tahoe Public Utility District testing for PCE near ‘Y’
South Tahoe Public Utility District is undertaking field work near the “Y” in an effort to contain and remove a toxic chemical
Officials started to drill and install a new test well to collect soil and groundwater samples at 953 Eloise Ave. STPUD plans to complete work by late June.
The objective, according to STPUD, is to collect information on the aquifer characteristics and water quality in order to design strategies to control and/or remove the groundwater contaminant tetrachloroethylene, or PCE as it’s more commonly known.
The PCE plume in South Lake Tahoe has tainted 400 acres and was first detected in the late ‘80s.
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Although agencies have not determined who is responsible for the contamination, it is believed to have originated, at least in part, from Lake Tahoe Laundry Works, which operated from the 1970s until 2011 near the Y.
In May 2017 the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board issued an order calling for additional study and remedial work by the responsible parties, the Tribune previously reported. At the same time, the board admitted it is possible that there are other parties responsible for portions of the PCE, and further investigation is needed.
The district was awarded a $504,295 grant from the State Water Resources Control Board to conduct its study. In addition to the new test well, STPUD also will be collecting water samples from eight existing wells neighboring the project area.
Lahontan, according to STPUD, is organizing a stakeholders meeting to discuss its clean-up and abatement order, its investigation efforts, and the establishment of a technical advisory group focused on this problem.
Meanwhile, STPUD plans to host a public workshop in July to share results and provide an update on the progress of the feasibility study. More details will be provided once the workshop is scheduled.
For more information please see STPUD’s groundwater webpage: stpud.us/news/groundwater-management-process/.
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