Posted: Jun 26, 2013 10:10 PM by Jamie Leary - KBZK News
Updated: Jun 27, 2013 12:13 PM
BOZEMAN - A Bozeman neighborhood may be at risk from contaminated groundwater.
The City of Bozeman confirms that soil tested in March around phase three of the Bridger Creek subdivision is positive for a number of volatile chemicals.
The chemicals have leached from the former city landfill. Garbage was buried in the unlined landfill from 1979 to 1995 before the city realized the lack of a lining was a hazardous practice.
The city is preparing to install an air sampling device in 25 homes around the subdivision for further testing. They want to make sure the contaminated soil vapor has not seeped inside the homes.
"We're gonna do the air quality test in the house to make sure everything is okay," said Les Fischer, a resident of Bridger Creek Subdivision. "We do have concerns what this gas is because we have no idea for sure."
The city says it's a similar situation to the Bozeman Solvent Site; both sites have high amounts of a chemical called PCE which can cause cancer over a long period of time.
In addition, the soil around the subdivision contains other toxic chemicals such as chloroform and Benzine.
"There hasn't been any long term exposure to these contaminants yet and we are out in front trying to deal with it before there's an issue," said Rick Hickson, City of Bozeman engineer. "You know if we do find it, it's mitigated in much the same way radon is with a perforated pipe and a fan it just blows the air out of the house"
The City is taking full blame for the contamination and plans to work with the DEQ on a long-term remediation plan. The cost the city will incur for the testing and clean-up is unknown at this time.
Hickson says while it's hard to speculate where the chemicals will continue to move, it may be possible they will have to do testing beyond the subdivision at a later time.
All concerned residents are asked to call the city engineers office at (406) 582-2280