Base officials met with Layton City officials last week to tell them there is no health risk from groundwater contamination.
But that good news goes beyond Layton, to all the cities affected by groundwater contamination.
“None of the water supplies (near the base) are affected by the contamination,” Bob Elliott, chief of the Environmental Restoration Branch at the base said Monday.
Hill was named a superfund site in 1987 by the Environmental Protection Agency after officials began investigating contamination as early as 1976. Investigators found a number of chlorinated solvents, used to clean equipment in groundwater near the base.
According to the EPA’s website, areas that were used for past waste disposal are along the outer edges of the base, and include landfills, disposal and spill areas. There have been at least six contaminated plumes identified.
Elliott said the chance of water supplies being contaminated are remote because of the clay surrounding the base is so thick, “it would be difficult for the (contamination) to flow through the clay to the deep acquifers which supply water to the cities. It would take thousands of years,” Elliott said.
Nevertheless, the cleanup continues and will go on for decades, possibly for another 70 years, Elliott said.
Last year officials installed eight new wells in Layton to monitor the plumes’ movement. Indoor air sampling also continues in nearby homes located over shallow plumes.
Base officials have contacted 855 Layton homeowners. Of those, 160 agreed to have the air in their homes tested and 197 samples have been take since October. Layton City officials were told last week that few problems have been detected.
Elliott said the EPA reviews the base’s cleanup efforts every five years. The last was conducted in December, 2008.