UW Tacoma site
Groundwater well drilling and the first round of testing will be
done by the new year!
During summer 2016, we made a formal legal agreement, called an
agreed order, with the University of Washington Tacoma (UWT) to
start the long cleanup process. Once that agreement was final, UWT
drilled a series of wells outside of the known extent of the site,
in an effort to find the edges of groundwater contamination.
The first round of testing will be complete shortly after the new
year. We expect to have the test results within a few months from
In basement and ground floor areas of some non-residential
buildings on the UW Tacoma campus, we tested indoor air to be sure
groundwater contamination is not affecting
air quality in places people visit and work. The test results
showed that air quality does not pose a risk to visitors and workers
in those buildings.
Testing air quality at UW Bookstore and Federal Courthouse
People at the UWT Bookstore,
Starbucks, or the U.S. District Court on Pacific Avenue in Tacoma
may notice some activity as we work on site to take air quality
What you might see
This work will be mostly out of sight - in corridors and on
ground and basement floors. Technicians will set up containers that
collect air samples slowly over a long period from many hours to
over a week.
We may use a drill to get through concrete slab-on-grade
foundations, so we can test air under the building.
Historic activities in the area have contaminated the groundwater
under some of the buildings on and near the UWT campus. UWT is
working under the direction of Ecology to clean it up.
Throughout the cleanup process, we need to check up regularly to
make sure people who visit and work in the buildings in the cleanup
area are not exposed to the contaminating chemicals. A recent
checkup indicated the need for follow up tests. The tests will look
for contaminated air that could enter the buildings through a
process called vapor intrusion.
How it works
The screening processes test both indoor air and outdoor air,
using a specialized vacuum canister. The container is left in place,
and a valve lets air into the container at a set rate. The
containers then go to a laboratory that can test the air samples.
Learn more about the background and cleanup at the UW Tacoma
Acronyms used by the Toxics Cleanup Program
Cleanup process: major steps & definitions
This page created January 11, 2017