Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

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About the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative

This nationally coordinated effort provides EPA and its partners with a process to return Superfund sites to productive use. Learn more at Superfund Redevelopment Initiative.

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Redevelopment at the Site

The 28-acre Zanesville Well Field Superfund site is located on the east and west banks of the Muskingum River in Zanesville, Ohio. From 1893 to 1991, varied manufacturing facilities operated on site. Waste handling and disposal practices on site resulted in groundwater, soil and debris contamination at the site. EPA added the site to the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983. Cleanup activities included groundwater extraction and treatment, soil vapor extraction and soil removal. In 2008, a new company purchased the property. The firm does not operate at the site, but leases space in existing on-site buildings to other businesses. Several businesses have moved into existing site buildings since 2009, including a sign fabrication company and a lawn care company. The Jaycee Riverside Park is also within the site area.

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Economic Activity at the Site

As of December 2017, EPA had data on 4 on-site businesses. These businesses employed 107 people and generated an estimated $500,000 in annual sales revenue. View additional information about redevelopment economics at Superfund sites.

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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.

Due to the long history and varied usage of the site, many details of past waste storage and disposal practices are not available. However, it has been established that during American Encaustics ownership of the site, a dug well 10 feet in diameter and 40 feet deep was installed. Over the years the dug well fell into disuse, and in the early 1970s the well was backfilled. Rubble from the demolition of a building and up to 121 drums containing trichloroethylene (TCE) solvents were placed inside the well. The abandoned well was approximately 900 feet west of the river and directly across the river from the southern portion of the ZMWF.

Evidence of TCE contamination at the ZMWF was first observed in July 1981, during a random spot check for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by U.S. EPA. At that time, TCE was detected in the plant tap at the water treatment plant. Three wells in the southern end of the well field were found to be contaminated with TCE and 1,2-dichloroethylene (DCE). The southern portion of the ZMWF is currently not being used as a source of water.

The groundwater and soil contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The soil also contains some heavy metals.  In September 1983, U.S. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL).


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