Unsafe Levels of Explosives Detected in Groundwater Near Prairie du Sac

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Badger Army Ammunition Plant officials have reported that sampling conducted in June detected unsafe levels of explosives in a groundwater monitoring well in a rural neighborhood north of Prairie du Sac. At the regular meeting of the local Restoration Advisory Board on Monday, Army officials said that concentrations of the carcinogenic explosive DNT (dinitrotoluene) were detected at the groundwater Enforcement Standard (ES) which is 0.05 parts per billion. Health officials do not recommend using well water that contains levels higher than the ES.

The Army currently tests seven residential wells in the Dam Heights and Windings neighborhoods on a regular basis (every three months). In the June round of tests, low levels of DNT were detected in two residential wells in the Windings neighborhood, the Army said. The reported levels were below the ES at 0.015 and 0.016 parts per billion. The Wisconsin Division of Health said that these residential wells are safe to use.

Following the announcement, board member and CSWAB representative Laura Olah called on the Army to immediately re-test the groundwater monitoring well to confirm the findings and recommended the expansion of residential well testing to include dozens of nearby homes that are not part of the military’s quarterly testing program. Army representatives said that they will be testing the monitoring well shortly as part of their routine testing requirements but did not commit to the expanded private well testing.

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