Water Sampling Continues In Snake Pond Area
Camp Edwards, Mass. — Surface and groundwater investigations will continue at Snake Pond in Sandwich beginning Wednesday, April 17, when the National Guard Bureau's Groundwater Study Program begins two phases of testing to look for possible contamination from historic training and contractor activities on Camp Edwards' southeast corner ranges.
Next week, contractors for the Groundwater Study Program will conduct the first of a series of seasonal surface water samplings at Snake Pond's two public beaches and at the spit at the northern end of the pond. Later in the month, three new monitoring wells will be installed to allow for ongoing groundwater sampling.
The water will be tested for explosives and perchlorate, a substance contained in military propellants and munitions. These samplings will help define the nature and extent of contamination in this area.
"Previous tests of the surface water and sediments in Snake Pond have shown no detections of explosives or perchlorate, but we conduct these samplings each year to ensure that contaminants are not reaching the pond," said Groundwater Study Program Environmental Restoration Chief Major Bill Myer. "We will test the water again in May and then continue sampling twice a month, throughout the summer recreational season. "
Myer explained that detections of perchlorate and Royal Demolition Explosive (RDX) have been found in the Snake Pond area. They have not affected the pond's water. The new monitoring wells will assist the Groundwater Study Program is delineating areas of contamination coming from the former defense contractor test ranges.
Two of the wells will be located off base on the northeast and northwest sides of the pond to determine if contaminants are flowing under the pond. The third well will be on the west side, near the location of the spit, where a detection of perchlorate was found in a groundwater sample. According to Myer, the finished well casings will be steel pipes that are three inches in diameter and stand three feet above the ground. They will not impact the public's view or use of the beach or the pond.
The Groundwater Study Program will hold an information session at the pond in mid-May for area residents. Experts will be on hand to discuss the investigation and findings related to Snake Pond and the ongoing work at Camp Edwards.
The Groundwater Study Program has been working on an investigation and cleanup of the upper 15,000 acres at Camp Edwards since 1997. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection oversee the program. The Groundwater Study Program makes it a policy to inform the public of advances in the investigations and cleanup as well as any significant findings or planned activities.
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