Potassium Permanganate Could Migrate, Residents Cautioned

As a precaution, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is advising residents living on or near the Valmont TCE Superfund site in West Hazelton, Pa. to temporarily avoid using well water for any purposes while clean-up work continues at the site through September.

According to a July 31 press release, EPA plans to begin injecting a potassium permanganate solution slurry into selected bedrock zones through recently drilled injection wells to clean up TCE contamination in groundwater at the site.

EPA officials believe there is a minor possibility that the solution could migrate into old private wells and sump pumps during the injection process. Therefore, residents are advised to stop using private wells for any purposes during the work period and also to avoid any contact with water being discharged from sump pumps. Work is scheduled to begin the week of Aug. 10 and continue through September.

Concentrations of the potassium permanganate are expected to be low. However, the water could cause staining of clothing and plumbing fixtures. At higher concentrations, the chemical is an irritant and should be avoided.

The EPA is distributing a fact sheet to residents explaining the work and directing them to not use the well water. For more information on the Valmont TCE site, visit http://www.epa.gov/reg3hwmd/npl/PAD982363970.htm or contact community involvement coordinator William Hudson at 215.814.5532 or via email at hudson.william@epa.gov.

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