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Wedron Groundwater Contamination Site

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Contact Information

Community Involvement Coordinator
Heriberto León (leon.heriberto@epa.gov)
312-886-6163 or 800-621-8431, ext. 66163

On-Scene Coordinator
Steven Faryan (faryan.steven@epa.gov)
312-353-9351 or 800-621-8431, ext. 39351

Community Relations Coordinator Illinois EPA
Mara McGinnis
Office of Community Relations
1021 N. Grand Ave. East
P.O Box 19276
Springfield, IL 62794

Remedial Project Manager
Illinois EPA

Jeffrey J. Guy
1021 N. Grand Ave. East
P.O Box 19276
Springfield, IL

ATSDR Representative
Claudine Samanic

Director of Environmental Health
LaSalle County Health
Ted Pumo, LEHP
815-433-3366, ext. 223

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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 town. These samples were tested for the presence of a family of chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds and metals.

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Site Update

July/August 2015

Private Well Sampling – The Wedron private water well sampling event (29 wells total) is scheduled for August.  Illinois EPA will assist the LaSalle Co. Health Dept. in collecting the water samples and the Illinois EPA’s laboratory will analyze them.  The laboratory results should be available within a month.  The Illinois Department of Public Health will interpret the results and prepare a letter for each property owner and/or occupant household to explain their specific results.
New technical documents available – An October 2014 U.S. EPA memorandum titled “Evaluation of the Wedron Groundwater Site’s Identified BTEX Source Areas and Their Relationship to BTEX Groundwater Contamination in the Village of Wedron, Illinois,” an April 2015 Illinois EPA report titled “Data Evaluation Report,” and a July 2015 U.S. EPA memorandum titled “Report Review - Data Evaluation Report, Wedron, LaSalle County, Illinois, April 2015” are now available under the technical documents tab on this webpage. These documents identify likely source areas of the groundwater contamination in Wedron.

Two investigation reports are final
- In late winter 2015, two reports on investigations of possible sources of soil and groundwater contamination in Wedron were accepted as final by U.S. EPA and have also been added to the technical documents posted to the web page:
·         Wedron Site Investigation Technical Memorandum by BP (for the former BP Terminal Property on the NE edge of Wedron)
·         Wedron Silica Company - Final Report – Administrative Order on Consent(for their properties to the east and south of the residential area of Wedron)

Illinois Railway submitted an updated report to U.S. EPA in May 2015, and the Agency is working with Illinois Railway to finalize it. The report includes results from an additional investigation that U.S. EPA asked Illinois Railway to perform this winter at locations on its property where underground storage tanks were located. The additional investigation was needed to fully characterize soil and groundwater contamination found during the initial investigation on Illinois Railway property.
Also, Illinois Railway must submit a Site Investigation Completion Report to the Illinois EPA’s Leaking Underground Storage Tank (Leaking UST) Program for investigations of former UST areas on Illinois Railway property.

Wedron Silica Company
’s UST cleanup plan approved The Illinois EPA has approved Wedron Silica Company’s Leaking UST Corrective Action Plan to address contamination identified at a former UST area on its property.  Implementation of the plan will begin during the Summer of 2015.  This contamination has been thoroughly defined and is not considered to be one of the potential source areas for the Wedron residential area groundwater contamination.

Next steps
- Illinois EPA is working to have a contractor perform a Fall 2015 pumping test of the lower aquifer in Wedron to better understand hydraulic properties of that aquifer.  The pumping test results will help identify whether the uncontaminated lower aquifer will support additional new private wells and whether it is isolated from the upper aquifer.  With that critical  information, the agencies will work to identify remediation technologies and cleanup options.

Air monitoring – U.S. EPA has received air monitoring data for the months of February, March, and April 2015 under a U.S. EPA-approved air monitoring program for particulate matter.  The program provides data on dust leaving Wedron Silica Company and Technisand operations in Wedron.  The companies will continue to submit data to U.S. EPA each month under the approved air monitoring program until February 2016.  Data collection is being overseen by U.S. EPA.  The data files for the months of February, March, and April 2015, listed below, are now available under the technical documents tab on this webpage.  

  1. Appendix A. PM 4 Crystalline Silica Data Summary February 2015
  2. Appendix A. PM 4 Crystalline Silica Data Summary March 2015
  3. Appendix A. PM 4 Crystalline Silica Data Summary April 2015
  4. Appendix F. TEOM Data February 2015
  5. Appendix F. TEOM Data March 2015
  6. Appendix F. TEOM Data April 2015
  7. Appendix B. PM4 Particulate Matter and Crystalline Silica Filter Data February 2015
  8. Appendix B. PM4 Particulate Matter and Crystalline Silica Filter Data March 2015
  9. Appendix B. PM4 Particulate Matter and Crystalline Silica Filter Data April 2015

Past Site Updates

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Site History

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.

Site Description

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.

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