The Bally ground water site is a municipal water supply well field in the borough of Bally in Berks county, near the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The Bally well field and the nearby springs to the northwest of the site are the public water sources for approximately 1,200 residents. The area near the site includes wetlands to the north and a manufacturing plant, Bally Engineered Structures, 1,000 feet to the south of municipal well number 3. Since the 1930s, degreasing solvents containing methylene chloride, TCA, Methanol, Toluene, and TCE have been used in manufacturing at this plant. In 1982, a state water quality check identified the plant as a source of VOC contamination in Ballys municipal wells. The ground water and surface water is contaminated with various VOC’s, including tetrachlorethane, trichloroethane, and dichloroethene. Potential health risks exist through direct contact with or drinking of contaminated ground water or surface water. Currently contamination levels in active public water supply wells do not pose any danger; however, private well contamination does pose a risk.Former lagoons lay underneath the plant and are also considered potential sources of aquifer contamination.
From December 1982 to March 1987, the borough of Bally did not use the contaminated municipal well number three for water supply. The water was periodically pumped and discharged into a nearby pond to contain the contaminant plume. Pumping, however, had the effect of drawing VOCS deeper into the aquifer. The Well was completely shut down in March of 1987, due to results of additional ground water contamination studies indicated that 19 of 35 wells sampled, contained detectable levels of VOCS.
Currently, VOC-contaminated ground water extends from the plant to the east and northeast. Contaminant movement has become more controlled since pumping and air stripping pilot testing began at well number three. Ground water is the focus of this remediation because no remaining sources of VOC has been identified on the site.
The selected remedial action for this site includes abandoning appropriate wells in the attainment area; pumping and treatment of ground water from municipal well number 3 by air stripping with either vapor phase carbon, regenerable vapor phase carbon, or vapor phase catalytic oxidation. Followed by discharging treated water to an adjacent stream or into the municipal potable water system, as needed to provide suitable water supply. Implementation of institutional controls restricting the use of operable private wells and the construction of new wells within the attainment area, along with the constant monitoring of the ground and surface water are necessary to this cleanup process.
The estimated present cost for this remedial action ranges from $2,950,000 to $3,640,000 dollars. This site is being addressed through Federal, state, and potentially responsible parties action. This site was proposed to the National Priorities list of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites requiring long-term remedial action on June 10, 1986. The site was formally added to the list July 22, 1987, making it eligible for federal cleanup funds.