Groundwater Cleanup Project Under Way in Mass.

Oct. 6, 2004

The destruction of explosives and munitions for more than two decades at Camp Edwards resulted in groundwater contamination that threatened Cape Cod's water supply.

After many years of controversy and pressure from nearby communities, the Army on Tuesday began using equipment designed to clean up the contaminated water.

The groundwater pollution has been traced back to an area of the base known as Demolition Area 1. Scientists found dangerously high levels of explosives, chemical cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine (or RDX), and perchlorate in the stream of groundwater flowing towards Bourne, Mass.

The project uses huge tanks to extract contaminated groundwater at Camp Edwards. The system is designed to extract and purify 500,000 gallons per day of contaminated water and re-inject it into the aquifer which is the key source of Cape Cod's water.

The Army already has cleaned up 50,000 tons of contaminated soil from Demolition Area 1, trucking it to a location where it will be put through a high-heat cleansing system

Officials estimate that the water cleanup project will take 10 to 15 years.

Source: WCVB -