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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances : Site Investigation & Restoration : Hockessin Ground Water Plume Site

 Hockessin Ground Water Plume Site

 

The Hockessin Ground Water Plume Site is located along Lancaster Pike (Route 41) in Hockessin, Delaware and encompasses numerous commercial and residential properties. DNREC's Site Investigation & Restoration Section, with support from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Division of Public Health (DPH) and Artesian Water Company (Artesian), is investigating the site. DNREC requested federal assistance from the EPA to further investigate the area and help identify the sources of  ground water contamination. DNREC and EPA have been investigating contamination from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in some ground water wells which supply the Hockessin area’s drinking water. Public drinking water in the area is provided by Artesian Water Company, and is treated to remove VOCs. The finished drinking water continues to meet federal and state safe drinking water standards, according to Artesian’s annual water quality reports. Agency representatives provided an update on the Hockessin Ground Water Plume Site at the Greater Hockessin Area Development Association (GHADA) meeting June 19 at the Hockessin Memorial Hall.

The primary ground water contaminant of concern in the Hockessin area is tetrachloroethylene (PCE), most commonly used as a dry-cleaning solvent and industrial degreaser. PCE, a VOC which can cause adverse human health effects, was identified in a commercial irrigation well, three residential wells, and several public supply wells in the Artesian Water Company’s Hockessin well field. DNREC installed water treatment systems at the three residential properties impacted by the VOC contamination.

The sources of the ground water contamination have not been fully determined. DNREC has worked with several potential responsible parties, and has completed numerous environmental investigations and remedial efforts at sites of potential concern. Subsequently, DNREC has requested additional assistance from the EPA to help fully investigate the area, and identify the sources of the VOC contamination in ground water.

DNREC and EPA provided information at the meeting on ground water well testing results for residential properties, along with 2016-2017 environmental assessment work completed by EPA on  ground water contamination in the area. The EPA is using Superfund authority and resources to determine if the site warrants further long-term investigation and cleanup. EPA’s investigations also could result in the site being listed on the National Priorities List, the list of sites eligible for remedial action financed under the federal Superfund program. DNREC, DPH, Artesian and EPA representatives were available to answer questions.

For more information regarding the site, please contact Timothy Ratsep, administrator, Site Investigation & Restoration Section; Paul Will, SIRS program manager; or Christina Wirtz, SIRS outreach ombudsman, at 302-395-2600, or by email: Timothy.Ratsep@state.de.us; Paul.Will@state.de.us  or Christina.Wirtz@state.de.us.

For more information regarding the EPA's Superfund Program, please contact: 

  • Alexander Mandell, Community Involvement Coordinator, EPA Region 3 at: 215-814-5517, or by email at: Mandell.alexander@epa.gov
  • Connor O’Loughlin, Site Assessment Manager, EPA Region 3 at: 215-814-3304, or by email at: Oloughlin.connor@epa.gov
  • For media inquiries: Roy Seneca, Office of Communications and Government Relations, U.S. EPA, Region 3 at: 215-814-5567, or by email at: Seneca.roy@epa.gov

Related Documents and Websites 

For more information regarding DNREC's previous investigations at the Hockessin Ground Water Plume Site and other nearby sites , please visit  DNREC's Delaware Environmental Navigator (DEN) at: http://www.nav.dnrec.delaware.gov/DEN3/ for the following sites:

  • DE-1317: Hockessin Groundwater Site
  • DE-1591: Hockessin Cleaners
  • DE-1532: Sunrise Cleaners
  • DE-1590: Thompson Dry Cleaners

For additional information or questions regarding DNREC's investigations, please contact:

For more information on the contaminants of concern in the area, primarily tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and its degradation products in groundwater - trichloroethylene (TCE), dichloroethylene (DCE) and vinyl chloride (VC) - please visit:

  • Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs for PCE; TCE1,2 DCE and VC

For more information regarding Artesian Water Company’s drinking water supply and treatment system, please click here, or contact:

 

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