Dartmouth College Installs 'Pump And Treat' System To Treat Water Contamination

Feb 20, 2017

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. 

A representative from GZA, the company who put the pump and treat system in place, shows local residents how the system will filter out the chemicals from local ground water.
Credit VPR

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.