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Addition of Kokomo site to NPL raises concerns over drinking water.

The EPA added a hazardous waste site in Kokomo to its Superfund National Priority List (NPL) but the EPA and Indiana-American Water Co. both assured the public that there is no risk to the drinking water in the community.

The targeted area is a 300-acre plume of contamination in the groundwater beneath Kokomo. The center of this plume is located roughly at the intersections of East Vaile Avenue and South Elizabeth Street, though no source for the contamination has been identified.

"This is an issue we have been aware of for some time," said Jim Loughmiller, spokesman for Indiana-American Water. "We do have some wells within the contamination plume which show low levels of contamination for chlorinated solvents in the untreated water. However, our process we have in place for treating water removes these substances.

"It's not really a concern for our customers. We are well below the levels that the EPA has for these compounds. There are a couple things we do to help this. We use a blended water source, pulling water from Wildcat Creek and 18 different wells in different locations. Not all of those are affected by the contamination, but all of the water is sent to our plant for treatment."

The EPA confirmed that the water delivered to customers by Indiana-American is free from contamination.

Loughmiller explained that Indiana-American's treatment process is completely effective in removing the vinyl chloride contaminants from Kokomo's drinking water.

"The main thing that makes this a non-issue for our customers is that we use an aeration process," said Loughmiller. "That strips off the volatile organic compounds, which exist in minute levels--two to four parts per billion. When you aerate the water, it removes all of those.

The EPA stated that investigation into the plume and its possible source began in 2007, when four separate wells demonstrated contamination above the maximum allowable level of four parts per billion. While 14 potential sources for this contamination have been identified by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), none have been proven to be responsible.

Source: Pat Munsey,

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Publication:Hazardous Waste Superfund Alert
Date:Apr 10, 2015
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