Wedron Groundwater Contamination Site
Community Involvement Coordinator
Heriberto León (email@example.com)
312-886-6163 or 800-621-8431, ext. 66163
Steven Faryan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
312-353-9351 or 800-621-8431, ext. 39351
Community Relations Coordinator
Office of Community Relations MC 5
1021 N. Grand Ave. East
P.O Box 19276
Remedial Project Manager
1021 N. Grand Ave. East
P.O Box 19276
On this page:
- Site Update
- Site History
- Site Description
Attend a public meeting and open house
Wednesday, August 6
Public Meeting 5 - 6 p.m.
Open House 6 - 7 p.m.
Dayton Township Hall
3312 E. 18th Road
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.
Water samples taken in March 2014 from the eight Wedron replacement wells that EPA installed this winter confirms that the water is safe to drink. At the same time, EPA also tested other wells at homes that are adjacent to the groundwater plume. One of these wells showed a detection of benzene at a level close to the standards that are set by the EPA for drinking water quality. The detection in this well is not in excess of the EPA standards. This well was sampled over one year ago and did not show contamination at that time.
EPA has communicated with the owner and the tenants to make sure that they use bottled water and do not drink from the well. EPA is working to install carbon filter units similar to the ones installed in eight Wedron wells in 2012 and 2013 before those wells were replaced because of benzene contamination. Granular activated carbon has proven effective for removing benzene from water to below the standards set by EPA.
EPA is trying to identify sources of the groundwater contamination. To that end, EPA continues to oversee groundwater and soil investigations by BP, Illinois Railway, Lockheed Martin, Technisand, and Wedron Silica Company as agreed through Administrative Orders on Consent (AOCs) with the companies. Final reports for the investigations are expected in summer 2014.
After the groundwater and soil investigations are complete, EPA will work to identify long-term solutions to provide alternative water to Wedron residents who may become affected by the groundwater contamination. The additional well with contamination will be included in that evaluation.
EPA, LaSalle County Health Department and Illinois EPA have agreed on a long-term sampling plan to sample private wells in Wedron for a period of two years in order to take immediate response action to protect the public health if benzene is detected near or in excess of EPA standards.
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
- Pollution/Situation Report #5 (PDF) (5 pp, 260 K) May 28, 2014
- Community Involvement Plan (PDF) (32pp, 320K) February 2014
- Amended Action Memo (PDF) (39pp, 2.8MB) January 2014
- Site Investigation Report Hoxsey Property (PDF ) (298pp, 10.3MB) December 2013
- Illinois EPA Investigation Report of the Hoxsey Property (PDF) (294pp, 7.6MB) August 2013
- Sampling Plan Hoxsey Property (PDF) (32pp, 538K) August 2013
- Pollution Report 4 (PDF) (5pp, 38K) October 2013
- Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) BP Products North America Inc. (PDF) (36 pp, 5.62MB) Sept. 30, 2013
- Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) Illinois Railway LLC. (PDF) (35 pp, 1.6MB) Sept. 30, 2013
- Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) Wedron Silica Company; Technisand, Inc.; and Lockheed Martin Corporation (PDF) (40 pp., 3.5MB) Sept. 25, 2013
- Potential Source and Water Table Elevation Contour (PDF) (1 pg, 401K)
- Residential Replacement Well and Proposed EPA Monitoring Well Map (PDF)(1 pg, 386K)
- Water Table Elevation Contour Map (PDF) (1 pp, 574K)
- Conceptual Geologic Cross-Section of Wedron - Illustration of a geologic cross section using well information at the Thompson Park in Wedron, Illinois (PDF) (1 pg, 597K) 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 (PDF) (1 pg, 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
- EPA held a public meeting and open house April 23, 2014 to provide updated information on the investigation of the Wedron groundwater site and on the status of an alternate water supply for affected residents.
- Public Meeting Flier September 2013 (PDF) (1pg, 89K)
- Public Meeting Flier March 2013 (PDF) (1pg, 45K)