Jump to main content.


Lusher Street Ground Water Contamination Site

Site Information

Enlarge map

Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Cheryl Allen (allen.cheryl@epa.gov)
312-353-6196 or 800-621-8431, ext. 36196

Remedial Project Manager
Syed Quadri (quadri.syed@epa.gov)
312-886-5736 or 800-621-8431, ext. 65736

Repositories

(where to view written records)

Elkhart Public Library
Reference Services
300 S. Second St.
Elkhart, IN 46516

Background

Public Meeting

The Lusher Avenue Ground Water Contamination site is a ground water plume (underground mass of contaminated water) located in Elkhart, Ind. The area is bordered to the north by the St. Joseph River, to the west by Nappanee Street, to the south by Hively Avenue and to the east by Oakland Avenue. Sources of contamination have not been identified, and there are a number of industrial facilities in the area.

The Lusher Avenue Ground Water Contamination area was discovered during the investigation of the K.G. Gemeinhardt Company on State Road 19 in Elkhart. Contaminants were found in private drinking water wells and the Elkhart Health Department was notified. The contaminants of concern are chlorinated solvents that are used as degreasers, parts cleaners, engine cleaners, and foam plastic blowing agents.

Site Updates | News Releases | Fact Sheets || Technical Documents


You will need the free Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

Site Updates

February 2014

EPA has completed the remedial  investigation which is the study of the nature and extent of contamination at the Lusher Street site. The results from the remedial investigation will be used to develop a long-term cleanup plan for the site. 

In the meantime, EPA will recommend an interim action plan for the area of the site known as Operating Unit 1 or OU 1. OU 1 includes groundwater and vapor intrusion from the contaminated groundwater.  Vapor intrusion can  move through soil and seep into basements. The interim action plan will be proposed and shared with the public for their comment.

October 2012

EPA is studying the nature and extent of contamination at the site and has collected ground water samples from residential wells, soil samples from various locations in the area and indoor air vapor samples (PDF) from neighborhood homes. At the open house EPA staff will share information and answer questions. Posters will be set up to give visitors a better idea of the site, sampling results, where testing has taken place and the next steps.

July 2012

In order to continue studying the nature and extent of contamination at the Lusher Street site, EPA will collect sub-surface vapor samples from under residential basements. EPA is asking for access to 44 residences located on the site. By collecting these samples, EPA will find out if vapors and gases from the contaminated ground water and soil have seeped into the indoor space. The What You Should Know about Vapor Intrusion fact sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 94K) will give you more information.

June 2012

In order to continue studying the nature and extent of contamination at the Lusher Street site, EPA will collect sub-surface vapor samples from under residential basements. EPA is asking for access to 44 residences located on the site. By collecting these samples, EPA will find out if vapors and gases from the contaminated ground water and soil have seeped into the indoor space. The What You Should Know about Vapor Intrusion (PDF) (2 pp, 160K) fact sheet will give you more information.

September 2011

In order find out more about the nature and extent of contamination at the Lusher Street site more ground water monitoring wells will be drilled. These wells continue to test the ground water for contamination. Drilling will take place in 6 or 7 locations.. In some areas there will be a cluster of wells such as shallow, intermediate and deep wells in one location. In other areas there will be one or two wells. Ground water monitoring will give EPA a better understanding of where the ground water plume flows, how deep it is and the extent of contamination.

May 2011

Sampling performed by EPA in the area of the Lusher Street Ground Water Contamination site included collecting water samples from 60 residential wells; collecting below surface soil and ground water samples from various locations at the site and installing permanent and temporary ground water monitoring wells.

Samples taken from the residential wells were analyzed for different contaminants. The results from the water samples indicated that some contamination was detected and it was below EPA’s maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for drinking water standards. MCLs represent a chemical concentration that if exceeded may cause adverse health effects due to long term exposure. Residents who had their water tested will be informed of the results.

EPA is currently conducting an investigation known as a remedial investigation of the site. The investigation involves gathering soil, sediment and ground water data to determine the nature and extent of contamination. Once the investigation is completed, EPA will inform residents of findings and recommend future actions.

January 2011

EPA contractors with permission from the City of Elkhart are installing monitoring wells to test ground water for volatile organic compound (VOC) contamination. VOCs are organic chemicals that evaporate readily into the atmosphere. VOCs are found in many things, from paints,coatings, and glue to gasoline and diesel fuel. Monitoring wells are being installed to collect ground water samples at approximately eleven locations, which are strategically selected mostly north of the railroad tracks in Elkhart. An on-site mobile lab is analyzing the ground water samples and reporting data for timely decision-making in the field. Work is expected to continue through the end of the month. A decision will then be made on where next to install monitoring wells and to continue with the next phase of the investigation. Results of the sampling will be made available and shared with the public.

March 2009

As the first phase of the remedial investigation, soil and ground water samples from different businesses in the area of the Lusher Street Ground Water Contamination site will be collected by EPA. The purpose of this investigation is to determine which facilities within the area of the site are contributing contaminants to the groundwater plume. EPA sent letters requesting access to a number of area facilities who have used or may have used TCE or other solvents that were found in the ground water. EPA will evaluate the data from the collected samples and create a report. Eventually an in-depth remedial investigation and feasibility study will be performed. This is where data is gathered to determine the extent of contamination, a site cleanup criteria is established, and preliminary alternatives for cleanup action are identified. The feasibility study analyzes potential cleanup options. A remedial investigation and feasibility study is referred to as an RI/FS.

News Releases

Top of page

Fact Sheets

Technical Documents


Local Navigation


Jump to main content.