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News Release
November 27, 2002

Monitoring Well Installation Planned at Snake Pond

Camp Edwards, Mass. – Installation of a new groundwater monitoring well will begin December 2, on the northern shore of Snake Pond in Sandwich. The Groundwater Study Program is installing the well as part of its ongoing effort to determine the nature and extent of contamination in this area.

Work on the well will take approximately three weeks and will be conducted between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. As part of its program to keep base neighbors informed of its activities, the Groundwater Study Program mailed notices with details of the installation to residents on Arnold Road and Raccoon Lane.

A small, track-mounted geoprobe unit, which pushes the well casings into the ground instead of drilling, is being used for the installation to minimize environmental impact to the site. Up to four 2-inch steel pipes will be inserted into the water table to allow for sampling at various depths.

The finished well casings will not impact the public beach or any views of the pond. The pipes will be cut off below ground surface and capped. A concrete apron surrounding the pipes also will be set into the ground. Any disruption of the surrounding landscape will be repaired.

According to Groundwater Study Program Manager Ben Gregson, detections of the explosive compound RDX, or Royal Demolition Explosive, and perchlorate, a substance contained in military propellants and munitions, have been found in the area extending from the former defense contractor and training ranges on the southeast corner of Camp Edwards down to and under Snake Pond.

The contamination in this area has not affected the pond’s surface water, which is tested twice a week throughout the summer by both the Groundwater Study Program and the Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence. The detections are not in the immediate vicinity of any public or private drinking water supplies and do not present a risk to public health.

According to Gregson, protecting public health is the Groundwater Study Program’s highest priority. "Even though there isn’t an imminent threat to the public, we are investigating an interim solution to stop the off-base migration of contaminants toward Snake Pond. We also are using monitoring wells, like the one at Snake Pond, to help us fully delineate the contamination in this area. Once that is complete, we can finalize our remediation plans."

The Impact Area Groundwater Study Program has been working on an investigation and cleanup of the upper 15,000 acres at Camp Edwards since 1997. Its mission is to protect public health and the environment by addressing the groundwater-related impacts of historical training activities. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection oversee the program.

For further information on Groundwater Study Program activities, log on to

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For more information, contact:
Christine Dolen, Groundwater Study Program, (508) 968-5629
Todd Borci, EPA New England Region 1, (617) 918-1358 or (888) 372-7341 ext. 81358
Ellie Grillo, MADEP Community Involvement Coordinator, (508) 946-28666-2866

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