CSWAB is calling for prompt re-testing of all drinking water wells in a rural neighborhood near the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant. The action follows the Army’s recent announcement that very low levels of the explosive DNT have been detected in 9 of 16 residential wells in the Water’s Edge subdivision on Lake Wisconsin.
The Army plans to re-test 3 of the 16 residential wells in the near term. However, in a letter to the Wisconsin DNR this week, CSWAB asks that all 16 wells be immediately re-tested and that confirmation sampling be conducted by an independent qualified laboratory. CSWAB also recommends adding testing for all of the degradation products of DNT.
The Army has identified four distinct groundwater contaminant plumes originating from inside Badger. The Central Plume has moved beyond the plant boundary in the vicinity of Gruber’s Grove Bay in the Town of Sumpter.
DNT is the principal contaminant of concern associated with this plume, and 2,6-DNT is believed to be the main isomer associated with the Central Plume, DNR officials reported. Consequently, the recent detection of low levels of 2,4-DNT and 3,4-DNT are very suspect, DNR said. Officials also emphasized that all positive test results are J-flagged. The presence of a J qualifier attached to an analytical result indicates that the chemical is positively identified but the associated concentration is estimated.
The Army regularly tests 52 residential wells near Badger on an annual basis. Army contractors report that all residential wells are tested for all six isomers of DNT and some are also tested for volatile organic compounds. The most recent round of sampling did not identify any exceedances of Wisconsin Groundwater Enforcement Standards, Army contractors said.