Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NAS Area Wells Get Clean Bill in Pollution Tests

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

NAS Area Wells Get Clean Bill in Pollution Tests

Article excerpt

Tests of drinking water wells in a neighborhood bordering a Navy

hazardous waste site have come back clean, a Duval County Health

Department official said yesterday.

"We didn't detect any contamination," said Grayzna Pawlowicz,

an environmental specialist.

The health department tested a dozen wells off Collins Road,

near Jacksonville Naval Air Station, after pollutants from

petroleum products and cleaning solvents were detected in the

groundwater on base.

The plume of contamination, which was discovered much shallower

than the depth of the drinking water wells, reaches at least to

the base's south fence line.

While the wells have been given a clean bill of health, the

Navy was going to take samples today of the near-surface

groundwater, about 30 feet deep, on the other side of its fence.

"I was praying there wouldn't be any contamination found" in

the well samples, said Diane Lancaster, the installation

restoration manager at Jacksonville NAS. "I didn't suspect there

to be. But I like to see the results before I get optimistic."

"It's a relief to realize it is clean," said Art Bruner, whose

well sits only a few hundred feet from the Navy's fence.

"The only thing I'd be concerned about now is that they go

ahead and clean it up and stop the progress right away," he

said. "The longer it stays there, the more damage it could do."

The Navy has pledged to take full responsibility for any

cleanup that might be required.

The health department tested water from wells between 180 feet

and more than 400 feet deep. The Navy hasn't found any

contamination deeper than 30 feet, said Bill Dougherty, a Navy

spokesman.

"To have a risk to people, you have to have some sort of

exposure. Unless people are being exposed to that groundwater,

there would be no risk," Lancaster said.

Pawlowicz said it was no surprise the drinking water samples

were not polluted, because most wells reach deep into the

Floridan aquifer, protected by a rock cap. …

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