During routine sampling conducted on 10/28/2011, Tetrachoroethene (PCE) has been found in West Lebanon Township Municipal Public Water Supply (PWS) Well #2. PCE was absent during routine sampling by West Lebanon Township conducted during August 2011. However, during the next sampling collected the following October, PCE was found at the system distribution point at a concentration in excess of levels allowed by the PA DEP . In response, the water supply system was immediately shut down and an interconnection with the City of Lebanon water supply was activated. Immediately following receipt of the laboratory analyses, West Lebanon Township resampled the system, and determined that Municipal Well #2 was the point where PCE was entering the municipal system. Subsequently, West Lebanon Township hired Geological Services, Inc. (GSI) of Rock Hall, MD to develop a plan to restore use of Well #2 and to determine the source of contamination impacting the well.
During November, GSI sampled the three existing municipal wells, along with available adjacent wells and relevant surface water bodies. Laboratory results confirmed the presence of PCE at Well #2 while all other locations were below laboratory detection limits. Soil samples also collected During November at locations close to Well #2 where waste oils had been recently used for vegetation control as admitted freely by a property owner. Results indicated PCE concentrations well above PA DEP limits at three separate locations close to Well #2.
Soil vapor sampling was conducted in order to screen the surrounding area for contamination associated with soil or ground water contamination. During December 2011, soil vapor sampling results were analyzed in the vicinity of Well #2 in areas showing signs of recent dumping and vegetation distress. Elevated concentrations of regulated contaminants were found in many of the locations sampled, allowing delineation of the impacted area.
West Lebanon Township, GSI has been working together with The Department of Environmental Protection on the Water Management, Waste Management and Environmental Cleanup Programs out of the South Central Region Offices. More water and aquifer testing was completed during the first week of February by West Lebanon Township, GSI and the Department of Environmental Protection. Laboratory and aquifer testing results are currently pending.
Besides the initiative and immediate response of West Lebanon Municipal Staff, the Township followed Emergency Response Plan Procedures that had been developed in the Townships' proactive Municipal Wellhead Protection Plan that was prepared during 2008 by GSI for the Township under a PA DEP Source Water Protection Grant. The Emergency Response Plan provided the basis used to almost immediately track down the source of contamination, and to quickly enact corrective measures by which service will be restored. West Lebanon Township wants the Public to know that they are still receiving water from the City of Lebanon Authority until the Department of Environmental Protection permits West Lebanon Township to restart using their sources and the Correction Action Plan has been met. Further, because of the timely response and relatively low levels of PCE that were found in the system public exposure to PCE was minimal. Additionally, the Township stresses that no local businesses have been found to be responsible for the contamination that has impacted West Lebanon Townships