Wedron Groundwater Contamination Site
Community Involvement Coordinator
Heriberto León (firstname.lastname@example.org)
312-886-6163 or 800-621-8431, ext. 66163
Steven Faryan (email@example.com)
312-353-9351 or 800-621-8431, ext. 39351
Bureau of Land Representative Illinois EPA
1021 N. Grand Ave. East
P.O Box 19276
Springfield, IL 62794-9276
EPA and Illinois EPA have been working in Wedron, Ill., to determine which private drinking water wells have been affected by pollution. The agencies are also investigating potential sources of the groundwater contamination. “Groundwater” is an environmental term for underground supplies of fresh water.
In 2011, residents of Wedron reported gasoline odors from their water. As a result, the Illinois Department of Public Health collected groundwater samples in October 2011 and found two homes with benzene levels above the health standard. In November 2011, the LaSalle County Health Department told these residents to no longer drink or use their well water. Illinois EPA then contacted EPA, which began the current investigation.
Beginning in December 2011, EPA collected groundwater samples from 22 residential wells and one commercial well in the LaSalle County town. These samples were tested for the presence of a family of chemicals called volatile organic compounds or VOCs, semi-volatile organic compounds and metals.
Last year, EPA sampled all but two of the 45 homes in Wedron. EPA is trying to get access to the remaining two properties. Nine homes tested positive for volatile organic compounds, including benzene, and these residents were offered bottled water. In addition, EPA’s contractor installed filtration systems in these homes in February 2013.
Since last October, EPA has hosted community meetings every two months, and the most recent meeting was on April 3. Health officials from the CDC’s Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry have joined us at meetings and are a resource for residents with health concerns. The next EPA event will be an open house scheduled for early June, and it will be advertised on our website.
This spring and summer EPA will continue efforts to investigate the sources of contamination and explore options for a long-term solution. These efforts include:
- Plans to conduct vapor intrusion sampling in homes in early May to determine whether indoor air is being impacted by the contamination.
- Evaluating locations for two new semi-private deep wells that would serve the nine homes with contaminated wells.
- Overseeing a groundwater study being voluntarily conducted by Fairmont Minerals this spring.
- Continuing to work with Illinois EPA, which is conducting a soil investigation at the Hoxsey property in May 2013.
July and August 2012
In July 2012, EPA and Illinois EPA collected soil samples from 18 locations in Wedron using a special drilling rig called a geoprobe that can collect samples beneath soil surface. The results of the soil sampling also showed elevated levels of the VOCs benzene, chloroform, ethylbenzene, and xylenes. This investigation also identified several potential sources of the groundwater and soil contamination.
Also in July 2012, EPA, Illinois EPA and the Illinois Fire Marshal’s office oversaw the excavation and removal of an underground tank that was uncovered during a rail expansion along the Illinois Railway tracks bordering N. 2153 Road (LaSalle County 11). Illinois Railway hired a contractor to remove the liquid in the tank, clean the tank and remove the affected soil.
EPA oversaw an investigation conducted by Hoxsey property owners in August 2012 at the former Hoxsey gas station to determine if underground tanks or piping are still present. The investigation identified piping from the tanks on the property, but did not find tanks still underground. An additional investigation was set to be conducted by Illinois EPA at this property.
In April 1982, Illinois EPA began a groundwater investigation in Wedron after the Illinois Department of Public Health received complaints from several residents of gasoline-type odors in their private well water. Illinois EPA collected groundwater samples from several private wells in April 1982, June 1983 and August 1983 and confirmed the presence of chemicals found in gasoline. At that time, a new deeper well was drilled to provide clean drinking water to the affected homes. In addition, an investigation of several potential sources of contamination was completed, but no source was found.
The site is the unincorporated community of Wedron located in LaSalle County, Ill. The site is located in a mixed rural, residential, and industrial area. North of the site are residential homes, agriculture, and undeveloped land. To the east are the Fox River, agriculture, and undeveloped land. To the south are the Wedron Silica sand-mining facility and mining pits; and to the west are two Wedron Silica quarries, agriculture, and undeveloped land. Current and former commercial and industrial properties known at the site include the Fairmount Minerals Ltd., Wedron Silica Mining Co., Illinois Railway railroad company, the former Hoxsey gas station, and the former W.D. Grain Co.
- Frequently Asked Questions about the Wedron Groundwater Contamination Site
- Basic Information about the Superfund Program
- Frequent questions about the Superfund Program
You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.
- EPA Explores Alternative Water Source (PDF)(2pp, 158K) June 2013
- EPA Considers Options for Contaminated Wells (PDF) (2pp, 110K) February 2013
- What You Should Know About the Problem of Vapor Intrusion (PDF) (2 pp, 162K)
- Basic Information about Benzene in Drinking Water
- ATSDR Benzene fact sheet (PDF)(2 pp, 54.7K)
- EPA Looking for Pollution Source in Underground Water (PDF) (2 pp, 1.6MB) October 2012
- Figure 3 (PDF) (1 pp, 482K)
The map shows the soil vapor probe locations and estimated plume in red dash line. This estimated plume will differ as additional data is obtained from our sampling of the 9 monitoring wells. These wells are 35-40 feet and will be a better indicator of the actual plume. This estimated plume was completed using private wells that are at different depth and have varying length of casing in the well.
- Conceptual Geologic Cross-Section of Wedron - Illustration of a geologic cross section using well information at the Thompson Park in Wedron, Illinois (PDF) (1pp, 597KB) September 2012
- Wedron Final Letter Report - Revision 1 (PDF) (260pp, 9.6MB) September 2012
- Groundwater Flow and Influences to Groundwater Flow in Wedron, Illinois (PDF) (3pp, 284K) February 2013
- Potentiometric Surface Map, Wedron Groundwater Site (PDF) (4pp, 177K) November 2012
- Potentiometric Surface Map - Evelation Countours Map (PDF) (1pp, 177K) November 2012
- Request for Approval and Funding for a Time-Critical Removal Action (PDF) (20 pp, 1.4MB) November 2012
- Pollution Report 3 (PDF) (5 pp, 39K) February 2013
- Pollution Report 2 (PDF) (4 pp, 39K) May 2012
- Pollution Report 1 (PDF) (3 pp, 35K) March 2012
- Public meeting flyer (PDF) (1pp, 45KB) March 2013