East Lyme Wells Clean, Health Officials Say

East Lyme - None of the diesel fuel that spilled during Friday’s multiple-vehicle accident on I-95 reached private wells closest to the spill, health officials said today.

The Ledge Light Health District collected samples from four private wells Monday and received results back from the state laboratory on Wednesday, said Stephen Mansfield, deputy director of health.

“All four were negative for the presence of hydrocarbons,” he said. Residents of homes served by the wells were being contacted about the results.

Four to five more wells in the area will be sampled on Thursday, he said.

“These are the sentinels,” he said. “Assuming these come back negative, too, that will be it for short-term testing.”

The state Department of Environmental Protection has told Ledge Light that it believes its cleanup crews recovered about 85 percent to 90 percent of the 9,000 gallons of fuel that spilled from the tanker truck involved in the crash, Mansfield said. About 4,000 gallons entered Latimer Brook. The fuel also pooled on the highway and soaked into soils and pavement near the crash site. Initially after the crash, residents of a cluster of three houses served by two wells were told to use bottled water instead of well water as a precaution until tests could be conducted.  Two additional wells were added for the first batch of tests to cover all the homes with the greatest possibility of contamination.Mansfield said the district will retest the same wells in three months to ensure that none are contaminated with fuel that might have soaked into the soil and leached into the wells.

The chances that there is any contamination, he said, are very small, but “it’s better to be safe.”


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