This weekend, residents of a Hanover neighborhood near a Dartmouth College hazardous waste site went to check out a system designed to clean up their groundwater.
The pump and treat system went online in early February. It was designed specifically for the Hanover contamination of the chemical 1,4-dioxane, a probable carcinogen which has been found in local drinking water.
The chemical was left over from a mid-century hazardous waste burial site where Dartmouth research labs had previously dumped materials.
Currently, the system pumps over 1,400 gallons of contaminated ground water a day – but that will likely increase in the future.
Jim Wieck is a water geologist and the manager overseeing the project.
He explained to neighbors how the $2 million system will work over the next five-plus years.
“It’s a filtration type of system,” Wieck said on the Rennie Farm property recently. “The media that is in it — a synthetic resin — passes through that material ... [it] is capable of filtering out the 1,4-dioxane where it’s difficult for a lot of other media to do it.”
Wieck and Dartmouth are exploring the possibility of creating a second pump and treat system to mitigate the plume, which has reached about a half-mile away from the original waste site.
Correction 11:49AM 2/20/2017 This story has been updated to clarify the suspected length of the plume and to correct spelling of Mr. Jim Wieck's name.