Water testing starting Feb. 10

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Testing of water from wells and springs will begin again within two weeks at 15 sites in the vicinity of Cedar Ridge Landfill, according to the consultant hired by Marshall County.

"We're going to start this round of sampling on Feb. 10," said Bill Griggs, co-owner of Griggs & Maloney, the Murfreesboro-based environmental engineering firm hired late last year.

Residents with homes around the landfill approached the County Commission about two years ago, expressing concerns for the quality of their water. They were concerned that it might be contaminated because of Cedar Ridge Landfill.

While Waste Management, the company tht operates the landfill, insists that's not possible because of the lay of the land, residents remained unconvinced and the county proceeded with water testing. That's being done again by Griggs & Maloney. No report has emerged from previous testing that shows wells or spring water are contaminated.

Furthermore, Griggs said on Friday, "We haven't examined the previous sampling. This will be to re-sample the wells and sprigs that the county sampled previously."

The latest date of water sampling available to Griggs was from April of 2008, Maloney said. Springs and wells to be sampled again completely surround the landfill.

"We haven't examined the previous sampling," Griggs said.

Standard quality control procedures are to be followed, he said.

"When we take a sample, we go to great lengths to be sure we don't contaminate the samples," Griggs said. "The lab certifies that the containers are clean."

Samples are about a quart and are taken directly from the wells and springs, he said.

"We'll take them from the tap if that's the only way possible," Griggs said.

There will be 15 samples taken, he said.

"Some are from springs that nobody is using" for household water, Griggs said.

While it was unclear exactly how many residents are to have the water sampled, one might estimate that if there were about a dozen wells and/or springs serving homes and a mathematical average of 2.5 people per home, then there may be 30 people for whom water is to be tested again.