Washington State Department of Ecology - March 29, 2013

13-095

Algona groundwater sampling delayed

BELLEVUE – Drilling crews and equipment will begin later than first planned to collect underground water samples in Algona as part of a continuing investigation into an area of contaminated ground water that originates on property owned by The Boeing Company (Boeing) in Auburn.

The sample collection project will begin late next week or the week of April 8, 2013, after at least two days of surveying and marking of underground utilities.  Plans and other arrangements for the Algona drilling could not be completed in time for the original April 1 start date.

Groundwater data collected to date show that this contamination does not affect public drinking water sources.

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) directs the investigation, conducted and paid for by Boeing. 

 The study is one step in determining the location and size of this underground contamination, which includes solvent chemicals, primarily trichloroethene (TCE) and vinyl chloride (VC). 

Information from the study will help in planning the cleanup of the groundwater contamination, and help inform affected communities.  The data will also help determine the need for additional sampling.

Crews will work in streets and public rights of way in three general areas: 

Most of the work will occur in a 12-block area bounded by Boundary Blvd. on the north, 8th Ave., on the south, State Route 167 on the west and Chicago Ave. on the east. 

Between Celery and Chicago avenues, crews will gather one sample mid-block on 5th, 6th, and 7th avenues North and Broadway Boulevard.

Further south, one sample is planned at each end of Junction Boulevard and on Washington Boulevard near 2nd and 3rd avenues South.

The city of Algona has assisted with arrangements for the sampling and in the selection of sampling locations.

Workers first will conduct surveys and utility-location work for two or more days.  Then, truck-mounted drilling machines will begin to bore approximately 50 small holes to collect groundwater samples. Most of these will be five feet deep, with 15- and 25-foot borings planned at some locations. 

Safety signs, barricades and fencing will guide vehicles and pedestrians away from active work sites. Crews will patch the small boreholes immediately after collecting each sample.  Each groundwater sampling location will require one to four hours for preparation and drilling. The project will take approximately two weeks to complete.

The groundwater samples will undergo laboratory testing to detect the presence and concentrations of specific solvent-related chemicals. Review of that data will provide information for the next steps in the investigation of the affected area and assessment of potential health risks associated with the contamination.

Ecology has mailed information about the project to addresses in and near the study areas. Project information also will be updated on line during the progress of the project, https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp/Sitepage.aspx?csid=5049.

When results of the groundwater sampling are available, Ecology will post the information on line at https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp/Sitepage.aspx?csid=5049 and arrange a community meeting to explain the results and answer questions. 

People with questions or comments about the investigation may contact Ecology at boeingauburnsite@ecy.wa.gov

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Media Contacts

Larry Altose, Ecology media relations, 425-649-7009, larry.altose@ecy.wa.gov

Kathy Davis, Ecology media relations, 360-407-6149, kathy.davis@ecy.wa.gov

Robin Harrover, Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction Program, 425-649-7232, boeingauburnsite@ecy.wa.gov

For more information:

Boeing Auburn contaminated groundwater investigation (https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/gsp/Sitepage.aspx?csid=5049)

Ecology's social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)