Waste Management Finds Solution to Settler's Hill Toxins

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Byline: John Johnston Daily Herald Correspondent

Two new water wells and more gas wells at the Settler's Hill landfill in Geneva appear to be the solution to trace amounts of toxic gas detected earlier this year.

Tests found four parts per billion - just over the allowable limit - of vinyl chloride at two of the landfill's 20 water wells. Waste Management officials said at an open house Thursday the problem was minute and recent tests show the water is clean.

"It doesn't take much to get one part per billion," company Director of Environmental Engineering William Schubert said. "It's the same as one grain of sand in a mile of beach."

However, since the gas was found, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency required an open house and a corrective action report based on feedback from the meeting. The report will be filed next week, Schubert said.

Waste Management hydrogeologist Terry Johnson said the failed test probably resulted from trace amounts of gas in the wells' gravel pack, a part of the well made from dense rock or sand that is designed to extract groundwater. …