Alaska, EPA agreement to close contaminated wells, protect groundwater

Sponsored by


SEATTLE, WA, Nov. 22, 2013 -- A number of motor vehicle waste disposal wells across the state of Alaska are located in state-designated groundwater protection areas and pose a risk to groundwater resources that communities use for drinking water. As a result, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have reached an agreement to close 55 of these wells at state vehicle repair and maintenance facilities.

ADOT&PF used the wells to dispose of stormwater, snowmelt and water used to wash vehicles. This wastewater may have contained antifreeze, brake fluid, waste petroleum, and other vehicular wastes that have known harmful impacts to human health. During vehicle repair and maintenance, these fluids can drip on the floor and enter drains or sinks in service areas. If the drains or sinks are connected to a septic system, dry well or any underground disposal system, chemicals and metals may be entering soil or drinking water supplies.

 
ADOT&PF has agreed to sample the 55 wells, remove contamination and permanently shut down the wells or convert them to alternate uses by 2018. ADOT&PF is working with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the EPA to close the wells. Six of the wells have already been closed and the closure process has been initiated for other wells. The result will be better protection for groundwater resources across Alaska.

The Safe Drinking Water Act requires the EPA to regulate underground injection wells. The regulations banned motor vehicle waste disposal injection wells in 2000 and required closure of all existing wells due to their high potential to endanger underground sources of drinking water.

EPA is working to close approximately 330 banned motor vehicle waste disposal wells in Alaska. Owners and operators of facilities with these wells should contact EPA to learn how to improve their waste management practices to protect drinking water resources. As facilities close existing wells or install new wastewater systems, EPA and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation can provide advice on alternative, environmentally-friendly methods to handle wastewater.

###

Sponsored by

TODAY'S HEADLINES

Global technology challenge seeks energy-efficient seawater desalination solutions

GE ecomagination and Aramco Entrepreneurship launched an open global technology challenge to accelerate the development of solutions focused on improving the energy efficiency of seawater desalination.

U.S. Water Alliance appoints new members to Board

The U.S. Water Alliance has announced that three new members have been added to its board of directors.

Parsons honored for completion of AZ county wastewater reclamation plants

Parsons was honored by Pima County, Ariz., at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its work on the Regional Optimization Master Plan, including the completion of both wastewater reclamation facilities projects Tres Rios and Agua Nueva in Tucson.

Ontario WWTPs adopt new stators to increase pump life

Hamilton, Ontario has implemented new stators for its wastewater treatment plants as a means to increase pump life in the facilities.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA