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Eau Claire Municipal Well Field

Site Information
Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Susan Pastor (pastor.susan@epa.gov)
312-353-1325 or 800-621-8431, ext. 31325

Remedial Project Manager
Howard Caine (caine.howard@epa.gov)
312-353-9685 or 800-621-8431, ext. 39685

Repositories

(where to view written records)

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library
400 Eau Claire Street
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Background

The Eau Claire Municipal Well Field, located in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, consists of 14 municipal ground-water wells. They provide drinking water to the 57,600 residents of Eau Claire County. In the mid-1980s, routine ground-water sampling by the state of Wisconsin indicated elevated levels of volatile organic compounds in the municipal water supply.

In 1985, EPA selected air stripping as an interim measure to address ground-water contamination at the well field. It was built in 1987. EPA's 1988 cleanup plan provided for continued operation of the two-column air stripper which was built in 1987. EPA also required other measures such as connection of private wells to the municipal water system and installation of additional extraction wells in the North Field and Plume 2 for direct discharge into the Chippewa River. During the cleanup, EPA concluded that the nearby National Presto Industries Superfund site was the source of the well field's ground-water contamination.

In 2009, EPA changed the ground water cleanup standards detailed in its 1988 cleanup plan, or record of decision. The Agency was legally required to issue an official document called "Explanation of Significant Differences" [Explanation of Significant Differences (PDF) (13pp, 570K) December 2009] which outlines the changes. Originally, the Target Cleanup Levels, or TCLs, were developed by EPA as its cleanup goals rather than the state's ground water quality standards described in Wisconsin Administrative Code NR 140. Wisconsin NR 140 also uses the Enforcement Standards as a compliance standard for human health and welfare concerns. The Enforcement Standards now serve as the ground water cleanup goals.

Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) and Community Advisory Group (CAG) are two ways the community can get involved. Learn more about CAGs and TAGs

Site Updates || Technical Documents || Five-Year Reviews


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Site Updates

August 2012

EPA has completed a status review of the cleanup. This type of review is required at least every five years where the cleanup is complete but hazardous waste remains managed on-site. These reviews are done to ensure that the cleanup continues to protect people and the environment.

The review included:

The review found that the cleanup continues to protect people and the environment. It also showed there is no waste to be managed on-site, so EPA’s next step is to start the process to remove the Eau Claire Municipal Well Field from the Superfund list.
This was the fourth five-year review for Eau Claire Well Field Municipal Landfill. 

The air stripper at the well field was shut down in November 2011 for about two weeks while EPA did some confirmation sampling from various points of the water plant.  The results in a report showed the drinking water leaving the water plant meets the cleanup goals without the operation of the air stripper.  The air stripper was restarted after the sampling was completed.

The last five years of water data have been reviewed and it appears the individual production wells are meeting the Wisconsin enforcement standards cleanup levels. Blended water from these production wells also meets those standards.

Technical Documents

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Five-Year Reviews

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