Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

SAVAGE MUNICIPAL WATER SUPPLY
MILFORD, NH

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The Savage Municipal Water Supply Well site, covering about 235 acres, sits about five miles west of the center of Milford, New Hampshire. The site consists of a municipal well and the underlying aquifer. The wells were found to be contaminated and closed in 1983. After that, EPA provided bottled water to 75 residents affected by contaminated well water. EPA later connected residents to the municipal water supply. Following construction of the site’s long-term remedy, groundwater monitoring and operation and maintenance activities are ongoing.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

The site is being addressed through federal, state and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions. There are currently no unacceptable risks to the environment. A municipal water supply provides potable water for the residential and commercial properties impacted by the contaminated plume. Sampling is conducted on a regular basis to ensure that existing residential bedrock wells are not impacted by contamination from the Site.

A slurry wall and groundwater extraction and treatment system for the Concentrated Plume Area began operating in 1999. Groundwater contamination levels have dropped significantly since then. Injections of potassium and sodium permanganate were done in 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009 within the slurry wall.

Cleanup of the so-called Extended Plume Area is the responsibility of site PRPs. The plan, completed in 2003, called for a 450-gallon-per-minute treatment plant. A treatment facility began operation in late November 2004. Modifications in 2005 added metals treatment and a surface water outfall to the Souhegan River. The plant began operating again in 2005.

 

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The site’s long-term remedy addressed two areas, the Concentrated Plume Area (also known as the former OK Tool Plant area) and the Extended Plume Area. The remedy for the Concentrated Plume Area includes the extraction and treatment of contaminated groundwater, in situ chemical treatment, soil-vapor extraction and a slurry wall. The remainder of the Concentrated Plume Area outside of the treatment and containment area was allowed to cleanse itself through natural attenuation.

Cleanup of the Extended Plume Area is the responsibility of several settling parties. The design called for a 450-gallon-per-minute treatment plant using air stripping to remove contamination. The treated water is to be injected back into the ground to help in cleaning the aquifer. Construction of the treatment facility finished in the November 2004 and the plant operated until it was shut down the next month due to problems that caused the injection wells to malfunction. After modifications, extraction and treatment operations restarted in 2005. The Extended Plume Area extraction and treatment system is currently undergoing a temporary shutdown that began in December 2015. The purpose of the temporary shutdown is to gather information to evaluate efficiency and identify opportunities for optimizing the system.

In 2010, EPA and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) started investigating the extent of contamination in the deep bedrock under the site. This investigation included drilling bedrock boreholes, collecting water quality samples, conducting pumping tests and characterizing bedrock fractures. The investigation was completed and a remedial investigation report was published in March 2014. A feasibility study was performed to evaluate possible remediation alternatives and the results were published in a July 2014 Feasibility Study Report. A Proposed Plan detailing the preferred remedial alternative was presented to the public for comment in August 2015, and a Record of Decision (ROD) documenting the preferred remedial alternative for OU1 was issued on August 24, 2016. The ROD provides for a change to the remedy at OU1 only and does not address the ongoing remedy for OU2.  .

The Milford Souhegan aquifer ranks in the highest 10 percent for water yield for the entire state. The restoration of the aquifer for use as a drinking water supply will ensure self-sufficiency for the Town of Milford and possibly provide drinking water for regional use. The slurry wall and groundwater extraction and treatment system for the Concentrated Plume Area started operating in 1999. Data shows a significant reduction in groundwater contamination levels since then. Injections of potassium and sodium permanganate were injected within the slurry wall of the Concentrated Plume Area in 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009. No contamination has been detected in any of the residential bedrock wells that have been sampled in or near the site.

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The Savage Municipal Water Supply Well operated from 1960 to 1983, supplying about 45 percent of Milford's drinking water, averaging about 200,000 gallons a day. The remainder of the town's water supply was provided by the Keyes and Kokko wells. Contamination was first discovered at the site as a result of a statewide drinking water sampling program in 1983. The Savage Municipal Water Supply Well and a nearby contaminated well supplying drinking water to a trailer park were later closed.

At that time, the state began investigations to locate the source of contaminants also present in the wastes of nearby industries. Industry and fish hatcheries also withdraw water from the aquifer. A stream that received discharge from Hitchiner Manufacturing, and previously from Hendrix Wire and Cable, flowed through the site before entering the Souhegan River. Hitchiner Manufacturing has purchased the Savage Municipal Well property from the Town of Milford. The company also owns 65 acres of farmland protected from development by the purchase of development rights by the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture.

The Savage Municipal Water Supply Well operated from 1960 to 1983, supplying about 45 percent of Milford's drinking water, averaging about 200,000 gallons a day. The remainder of the town's water supply was provided by the Keyes and Kokko wells. Contamination was first discovered at the site as a result of a statewide drinking water sampling program in 1983. The Savage Municipal Water Supply Well and a nearby contaminated well supplying drinking water to a trailer park were later closed.

At that time, the state began investigations to locate the source of contaminants also present in the wastes of nearby industries. Industry and fish hatcheries also withdraw water from the aquifer. A stream that received discharge from Hitchiner Manufacturing, and previously from Hendrix Wire and Cable, flowed through the site before entering the Souhegan River. Hitchiner Manufacturing has purchased the Savage Municipal Well property from the Town of Milford. The company also owns 65 acres of farmland protected from development by the purchase of development rights by the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture.

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Activity and Use Limitations

At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup.

For more background, see Institutional Controls.

Institutional Controls are required for this site.

This site requires ICs because a decision document, such as a Record of Decision, has documented some level of contamination and/or remedy component at the site that would restrict use of the site. In order to determine the current status of ICs for this site, the site contacts should be consulted.

To contact EPA regarding Institutional Controls and/or activity and use limitations, please complete this form.

ICs are generally defined as administrative and legal tools that do not involve construction or physically changing the site. Common examples of ICs include site use and excavation restrictions put in place through State and local authorities like zoning, permits and easements. ICs are normally used when waste is left onsite and when there is a limit to the activities that can safely take place at the site (i.e., the site cannot support unlimited use and unrestricted exposure) and/or when cleanup components of the remedy remains onsite (e.g., landfill caps, pumping equipment or pipelines). Effective ICs help ensure that these sites can be returned to safe and beneficial use.
 
Disclaimer: This information is being provided by EPA as an informational tool to further assist the public in determining the types of restrictions that may be in place at National Priorities List sites being addressed by EPA under the Superfund program. In addition to the areas addressed by the institutional controls identified on this web site there may be other areas on the property that require restrictions on use of the property that are not captured in this EPA database. States and other entities may have implemented laws or restrictions applicable to this site. The information provided herein does not replace a title search or meet "All Appropriate Inquiry" requirements. U.S. EPA encourages users to review the Site files to obtain information regarding remedy components, containment systems and the land use for which cleanup standards were selected for these sites. More information and links can be found on the site profile page and the EPA regional offices may also be contacted.

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