Saturday, July 16, 2022


 Lanxess continues to disappoint.  With everyone's attention focused on the HHERA or Human Health & Ecological Risk Assessment, it is so easy to miss the routine day in and day out cleanup failures. Of course I've been posting here literally for years about the lack of off-site, Elmira Aquifers pumping rates. Well make no mistake even though June 2022 off-site pumping is higher than it has been over the months, years and decades it still isn't adequate by the criteria set by Chemtura/Conestoga Rovers in November 2012. Not even close although total off-site pumping last June was just over 70 litres per second. 

   Now we get to on-site pumping and dear Lord while that also has never been at the rate that Jeff Merriman of Chemtura promised (i.e. 6.0 l/sec)  nevertheless it has at least been targeted for 4.7 litres per second and usually is close to that. Well not for last month when the daily average for the entire month was  a meagre 3.7 litres per second. We are advised that this is due to plugging of the pipelines that convey groundwater from the wells (PW4 & 5) to the treatment system. These wells are both in the Upper Municipal Aquifer (MU). These pipelines will not be unplugged before the end of July or early August.

   Yes TAG member Linda Dickson will undoubtedly pick up on this decreased pumping of the on-site MU at the next TAG meeting (Aug. 11/22). I am not sure however that she will realize the enhanced problem of reduced on-site pumping combined with even marginally increased off-site pumping. Basically the Target Rate set by GHD of 4.7 l/second is the MINIMUM pumping rate needed to maintain hydraulic containment of the heavily contaminated municipal upper aquifer at the "normal" pumping rate of 53-62 l/sec. The current off-site pumping Target rate is about 64 l/sec although rarely achieved especially with the intermittent pulse pumping at well E7. With the current increased off-site rate of 70 l/sec and the on-site pumping reduced to only 3.7 l/sec the direct result is a loss of on-site hydraulic containment. In other words the lowered off-site municipal (MU) water level will exacerbate the reduced on-site pumping (therefore higher water level) causing a loss of hydraulic containment and a loss of dissolved chemical contaminants from on-site to off-site. This whole issue of balancing on and off-site pumping so as not to overwhelm the on-site pumping has been well known for decades. So why are they doing it? There is no good answer.


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