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Landfill may have contaminated York community’s water; public meeting tonight

County officials say 41 homes in a York subdivision will be tested for possible groundwater contamination after one of three recently installed monitoring wells detected pollutants, according to preliminary lab results.

A public meeting for residents of the Travis Acres community will be held at 7 tonight at the York County Fire Training Facility, 2500 McFarland Road.

Preliminary results from monitoring by the state Department of Health and Environmental Control has found contamination from the closed York County landfill between S.C. 5 and McFarland Road and the ground wells in the Travis Acres neighborhood off McFarland Road. The 41 homes that will be tested are across the street from the backside of the county-owned property, said Ryan Blancke, the county’s assistant public works director.

Blancke would not disclose before the public meeting exactly when contaminants were first detected in the area, but he said there is semi-annual monitoring of landfill gases and groundwater around the property. About 50 wells routinely monitor the landfill itself, Blancke said, but within the last six months DHEC requested that the county install three new monitoring wells.

Laboratory data from one of the new wells “suggests that groundwater containing solid waste constituents may have migrated beyond the county’s property,” officials said in a letter that has been mailed to neighborhood residents. The Herald obtained a copy of the letter Wednesday.

Blancke stressed that there is no possibility of sewage from the landfill and that no actual solid material has been detected. Any contaminants would be the result of chemical breakdown of landfill materials.

Tonight’s meeting will give residents more information about the situation, including maps of the area, and the county’s “steps to protect the health and welfare of the residents.”

As part of York County’s plans to address the issue, engineers will ask to access residents’ property to obtain water samples from their on-site water supply wells. Results of the testings will be sent to the residents once the full extent of the contamination is known. That analysis generally takes about 10-14 days following sample collection, officials told residents.

Bristow Marchant: 803-329-4062, @BristowatHome

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