EPA concerned that Lapwai's dry well contamination may spread to drinking water

LAPWAI, ID - The Environmental Protection Agency has stepped in to prevent dry well contamination from spreading to Lapwai's water source.

A dry well was built back in the 1950's and it was used to dispose of fluids from the Lapwai Bus Maintenance Facility. In 2012 samples showed that the dry well was contaminated with a hazardous substance notorious for contaminating ground water.

EPA Coordinator Greg Weigel said the biggest concern now is a nearby drinking water well that provides water to the entire town. For the rest of the week they'll be checking to make sure the contaminate isn't spreading. Soil samples will be taken as the EPA drills five holes, each one reaching depths of forty feet.

The drinking water was sampled a year ago," said Weigel. "It will be sampled again but it does not show contaminate, that's the good news. But we're concerned that if that contamination that PCE is not removed and allowed to migrate it could follow that well to the lower drinking water and contaminate the drinking water."

Weigel said they should know whether or not the contamination is migrating by April.